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Poem – This is war

Gaza homes destroyed
Gaza homes destroyed

This is war

What is war?
In the human psyche
it is the fatal flaw,
a perversion of the human mind
turning the morally sighted
morally blind.

War is
the profoundest disrespect
for the sanctity of human life,
the ultimate in racism
and malevolent discrimination.

War is the realm
of the psychopathic leader,
paranoia and collective insanity
the practised liar,
the organiser of public deception.

War means
the derision of dissent,
the sidelining and silencing of dissent,
the corruption of the media.

The makers of arms,
the puppet-masters
triumph,
war’s only winners.
Unchallenged,
obscure,
they rejoice in secret.

Politicians smooth-talk
the planned propaganda line
every time,
glib answers from unruffled
plausible men,
apparently educated,
apparently intelligent,
justifying the destruction of humanity
as an unfortunate necessity
or an act of self-defence.

War is cruelty, horror, pain, suffering,
destruction and monstrous theft,
a negation of civilisation,
the ultimate in criminality,
the ultimate obscenity,
the ultimate crime against humanity,

a self-defeating
leap into the abyss.

David Roberts
2015
Revised 2024

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Publisher Saxon Books Returns

Publisher Saxon Books returns poster

Publisher Saxon Books Returns

Publisher Saxon Books returns poster

Popular and long established war poetry anthologies are not only back on sale again, but for a short time are being offered at big discounts. For example, Minds at War, which is one of the largest anthologies of poetry of the First World War. 

Minds at War anthology book cover

                     See warpoetry.uk  and  saxonbooks.co.uk

What happened?

You will probably remember that my publishing company was almost destroyed by a combination of things, covid, the tragic bankruptcy of my distributor (Vine House Distribution), the takeover of the warehousing company where our books were stored.

The latter’s new owners, who stored millions of books for the UK’s largest publishers, decided to combine the stock held in various warehouses and store in one mega warehouse. The transfer of so many books and the keeping of accurate records of the ownership of every box to be moved was a major logistics challenge.

Unfortunately, in the process of moving hundreds of lorry loads of boxes of books across the country and relocating stock in the new warehouse, the precise warehouse locations of many of the books belonging to Saxon Books were not recorded. In other words, HUNDREDS OF BOOKS WERE LOST!

They have now been found and are back on sale!

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Vietnam veteran’s song.

Still feeling the hurt all these years after the end of the Vietnam War, 1975, over 45 years ago. PTSD doesn’t just go away. Veteran, Jack Murphy’s recent song on YouTube

58,000 Americans were killed in the war. The total death toll: 3 Million.

There are a number of powerful poems by Vietnam veterans on The War Poetry website.

Video received from Jack Murphy via my CONTACT form.

Thanks, Jack.

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Willie McBride – a popular folk song relating to the First World War

I don’t know how widely known it is that some very popular and excellent folk songs were written about The First World War long after the event – poetry often overlooked.
One of the most popular is the lament for the death of Willie McBride, but its meaning is wider that just that.
I have heard it sung with great feeling many many times at folk clubs. There are several versions on YouTube but I think some of these make the song too sentimental.
Here’s one version
 
 

Eric Bogle

The picture above the video is of Eric Bogle who wrote the song in 1975 and returned to the grave of Willie McBride in 2018.
More on my war poetry website at   https://www.warpoetry.uk/willie-mcbride-folk-song
 
I’d be interested to hear of other folk songs about the First World War that you might recommend.