Dear Mother,
he begins,
                         but gets no further,
              dying as he is from wounds.
Meanwhile a lad in Connecticut
                 having joined the 23rd Volunteers
                             writes to his brother
                                    don’t let the bees die.
Year meshes into next,
                               leaves where buds were
                        and so on.
Herman Melville, never having gone,
                                        turns to poetry
             while working at New York customs.
Gulls this morning
         passing over this house – their human-like
                       cries seem like questions.
A photograph,
                 grainy with cracked glass diagonal:
                          alongside the Sanitary Comission tent    
                     a small pile of amputated feet, legs, an arm.
                a soldier, survivor –
                          he holds his fiddle case,
                                   on the way home to Ohio.


William Gilson




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One Response to CIVIL WAR

    1. William Gilson’s Civil War poem
      and Marc Woodward’s Maggot poem
      have more to say about uncivil wars
      supported by iliberal democracies
      than acres of handwringing news print
      and demonstrate the potential of poetry
      to combat political propaganda
      and state sponsored lies.
      Laurence Ferlinghetti wrote of poetry
      that it is……
      The last lighthouse in rising seas

      Comment by jeff.cloves on 14 May, 2022 at 11:18 pm

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