Thursday, September 14, 2006

Poetry Thursday

The Man He Killed

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!

But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot at him and he at me,
And killed him in his place.

I shot him dead because-
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That's clear enough; Although

He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand like - just as I -
Was out of work - had sold his traps -
No other reason why.

Yes; quaint and curious war is!
You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.


Blogger Grish said...

Liked it .:)

6:25 AM  
Blogger brian said...

Interesting poem. Thanks for visiting Dewy.

6:27 AM  
Blogger twitches said...

Oh yes - I have always loved this poem. How true. For all our so-called advanced technology, war is war in the end. Never changes.

8:24 AM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

War is war, and people are people. That's a great choice of poem. Thanks.

1:27 PM  
Blogger PEA said...

It's sad that war makes enemies out of potential friends and vice versa. Hardy had it right with this poem! Hugs!!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Verity said...

I've always liked Hardy's fiction, but never read his poetry. Thanks for the introduction. He tells it simply but well.

3:36 PM  
Blogger lisrobbe said...

I have too always loved this poem. War is not a positive thing in any way and the way it changes people and realtionships is sad. Thanks for sharing this.

10:10 AM  
Blogger paris parfait said...

Thanks for this poem. It cuts right to the heart of stupid reasons people use for doing terrible things (like murder and starting wars). I'd never read it and I'm a big fan of Thomas Hardy. I especially like his story An Imaginative Woman.

11:58 AM  
Blogger DellaB said...

Thanks for the reminder Rel, if it was left to the people who had to fight them to decide - would we still have wars? I think not, well, perhaps I hope not - what ever happened to 'Lest We Forget'?

BTW, for no photo opportunites you did very well, felt like i was right there on the trip with you.

5:38 PM  
Blogger jellyhead said...

This poem is so sad - more so because it's so understated. Great choice to post.

12:09 AM  
Blogger Puss-in-Boots said...

Hi Rel

Thomas Hardy is still relevant today, isn't he? If only mankind would learn.
Thanks for the reminder that life is precious.


2:28 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

So sad and so true. Thomas Hardy is remembered more for his novels than his poems but he wrote some lovely rural poems and many of them have a sadness about them too - I have a book of his work called The Darkling Thrush. The title poem begins with a rather stark picture of winter but ends on a hopeful note - I like that.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Eleanor said...

Ah, one of my top three favourite authors here. I'm a fan of his poetry, too, though. I first came across this one at some point in my high school studies and it never left me.

8:02 AM  

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