Tuesday, September 11, 2012


"A Million Young Workmen, 1915"

A million young workmen straight and strong lay stiff on the
    grass and roads,
And the million are now under soil and their rottening flesh will
    in the years feed roots of blood-red roses.
Yes, this million of young workmen slaughtered one another and
     never saw their red hands.
And oh, it would have been a great job of killing and a new and
    beautiful thing under the sun if the million knew why they
    hacked and tore each other to death.
The kings are grinning, the kaiser and the czar -- they are alive
    riding in leather-seated motor cars, and they have their
    women and roses for ease, and they eat fresh poached eggs
    for breakfast, new butter on toast, sitting in tall water-tight
    houses reading the news of war.
I dreamed a million ghosts of the young workmen rose in their
    shirts all soaked in crimson ... and yelled:
God damn the grinning kings, God damn the kaiser and the czar.

~ Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967)

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."  ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower


  1. Teresa, A wonderful post. Gentle, yet potent!

  2. Teresa -- Sad words but timeless. -- barbara

  3. The young men on both sides of a conflict have more in common with each other than they do with the generals overseeing the war.

  4. “If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.” Dick Cheney

    "Last year, when we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, I made it clear that our success was due to many people in many organizations working together over many years — across two administrations. That’s why my first call once American forces were safely out of harm’s way was to President Bush. Because protecting our country is neither the work of one person, nor the task of one period of time, it’s an ongoing obligation that we all share." Barack Obama

    All warmongers are equal, but some are more equal than others.

  5. yes the young men have more in common than the presidents, congressmen and politicians who send the generals to war, no warmongers are equal when folks are starving and out of work and yet they continue to war on foreign soil and spend money which could help others with food and jobs.

  6. I had not read this, thanks!

  7. God Damn The Masters of War!
    " And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

  8. If there was a light at the end of the tunnel the war sandwich we are forced to eat wouldn't be quite as bad.

  9. Dear Teresa, the deaths in World War I stunned the world I think. And Sandburg has it right. As was said during the VietNam era: "The politicians and the rich old men send off the youth to die." Peace.

  10. A wonderful post for 9/11. Ike's words are very moving to me. Military man, war hero, leader who warned us against the military-industrial complex. Peace.

  11. Eisenhower was a general who understood that war is not the answer. And that poem by Sandberg says it all. Thank you for this remembrance that we are better than this, better than war.

  12. I had never read this before either. Very thought provoking too. Mr. Sandburg was one fine poet and writer. Thank You for posting this.

  13. War is never the answer. When will we undestand that? It is so unbearable to think of all those people killed in wars.

  14. And yet the wolf and the lion, who kill for food, is considered by the "civilized" folk to be blood thirsty and cruel.

  15. It's a war weary world... and we never learn anything that changes this.
    A good poem and an awesome photo of Sandburg. And yet again, today, someone is trying to tell us something about "the ugly American" and we still aren't listening.
    When do we listen?

  16. Very thought provoking indeed. If only....

  17. Powerful words here. War is a terrible, terrible thing.

  18. Thank you all for reading and commenting.