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“For a Botched Civilization:” Two Poems from the Early 20th Century for Our 21st Century Veterans

Left: Kabul. Right: Saigon

The first is from the final stanzas of Hugh Selwyn Mauberly [excerpt] by Ezra Pound about the First World War published in 1920.


These fought in any case,
and some believing,
pro domo, in any case . . .

Some quick to arm,
some for adventure,
some from fear of weakness,
some from fear of censure,
some for love of slaughter, in imagination,
learning later . . .
some in fear, learning love of slaughter;
Died some, pro patria,
non “dulce” non “et decor” . . .
walked eye-deep in hell
believing in old men’s lies, then unbelieving

came home, home to a lie,
home to many deceits,
home to old lies and new infamy;
usury age-old and age-thick
and liars in public places.

Daring as never before, wastage as never before.
Young blood and high blood,
fair cheeks, and fine bodies;

fortitude as never before

frankness as never before,
disillusions as never told in the old days,
hysterias, trench confessions,
laughter out of dead bellies.


There died a myriad,
And of the best, among them,
For an old bitch gone in the teeth,
For a botched civilization,

Charm, smiling at the good mouth,
Quick eyes gone under earth’s lid,

For two gross of broken statues,
For a few thousand battered books.

The second is “Shine, Perishing Republic,” by Robinson Jeffers (1925)

While this America settles in the mould of its vulgarity, heavily thickening to empire,
And protest, only a bubble in the molten mass, pops and sighs out, and the mass hardens,
I sadly smiling remember that the flower fades to make fruit, the fruit rots to make earth.
Out of the mother; and through the spring exultances, ripeness and decadence; and home to the mother.

You making haste on decay: not blameworthy; life is good, be it stubbornly long or suddenly
A mortal splendor: meteors are not needed less than mountains: shine, perishing republic.
But for my children, I would have them keep their distance from the thickening center; corruption
Never has been compulsory, when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains.

And boys, be in nothing so moderate as in love of man, a clever servant, insufferable master.
There is the trap that catches noblest spirits, that caught—they say— God, when he walked on earth.

…when the cities lie at the monster’s feet there are left the mountains.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Francis W. Porretto August 20, 2021, 1:14 PM

    Unhappy about some far off things
    That are not my affair, wandering
    Along the coast and up the lean ridges,
    I saw in the evening
    The stars go over the lonely ocean,
    And a black-maned wild boar
    Plowing with his snout on Mal Paso Mountain.

    The old monster snuffled, “Here are sweet roots,
    Fat grubs, slick beetles and sprouted acorns.
    The best nation in Europe has fallen,
    And that is Finland,
    But the stars go over the lonely ocean,”
    The old black-bristled boar,
    Tearing the sod on Mal Paso Mountain.

    “The world’s in a bad way, my man,
    And bound to be worse before it mends;
    Better lie up in the mountain here
    Four or five centuries,
    While the stars go over the lonely ocean,”
    Said the old father of wild pigs,
    Plowing the fallow on Mal Paso Mountain.

    “Keep clear of the dupes that talk democracy
    And the dogs that bark revolution,
    Drunk with talk, liars and believers.
    I believe in my tusks.
    Long live freedom and damn the ideologies,”
    Said the gamey black-maned boar
    Tusking the turf on Mal Paso Mountain.

    — Robinson Jeffers —

  • Vanderleun August 20, 2021, 2:40 PM

    You ()and Jeffers) got that right, Porertto.

    I am always pleased when folks pick up their cues.

  • ghostsniper August 20, 2021, 7:20 PM

    I’m going to write a poem titled “Fuck You, Asshole”.

  • Nori August 20, 2021, 8:14 PM

    “And boys,be in nothing so moderate as in love of man,a clever servant,insufferable master.”

    “Long live freedom and damn the ideologies.”

    Been a rough week,thanks for this cold stream of refreshment.

  • jwm August 20, 2021, 8:25 PM

    I think somebody already wrote it. I recite it all the time, especially when I drive, or look around the internet. I recite it for phone solicitors too. They seem to like it.
    Maybe, it’s like the “Happy Birthday” song. No one ever thought to copyright it, so some guy claimed it, figuring he’d get rich on the royalties. That’s why they can’t sing it in chain restaurants anymore when they bring you the stale cupcake.


  • Tom Hyland August 21, 2021, 6:46 AM

    A dude named “DoQ Holliday” over at Gab has expressed my feelings exactly….

    Covid and the jab aside, the difference in opinion on this topic is the most polarizing I have ever come across. I speak from first hand experience when I say it is literally destroying my marriage. And I know I am not the only one. It is by design, intended to drive wedges between husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, parents and children. And it works to such ends, and thus is unforgivable.

    My fury over this is simmering just below the surface. My memory is long. I absolutely abhor China, Fauci, the jews, the globalists, the Gates, the Rothschilds, Big Pharma, the governors and the lockdowns, the stores that go along with mask and vaccine mandates, the self-righteous and self-important jack-wagons who want to police other’s behaviors, and all the cowards who refuse to think an original thought and let others think their own.

    When the day of the rope comes, I will not forget a single person who set themselves against My House and tried to destroy us. There will be no simple tar and feathering for you. One day I shall either make windchimes of your bones and drink from your skulls, or die in a pile of empty brass for what I believe.

    All I ever wanted was to be left alone and be Free. But freedom scares most people – especially when it’s not they who are free. The sight of it frightens the deep recesses of their trapped mind. It’s rough and gritty and dangerous and requires actual thinking. Freedom takes responsibility. But people would rather sit slumped and stare slack-jawed and drooling over their fat corn-syrup bellies at the pulsating lights of the electric jew as it hands them their pre-formed thoughts. As Nero said, “Give the people bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” Well, be slaves forever then. But I will not.

  • Donald Sensing August 21, 2021, 7:03 AM

    Last Sunday I told my congregation that on Sunday, Sept. 12, we would include in the service a memorialization of the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Now the feds say that makes me a terrorist threat.

  • James ONeil August 21, 2021, 8:35 AM

    Ask not what your country can do for you, ask instead what your appointed masters are doing to you.

  • Anonymous August 21, 2021, 8:46 AM

    Always nice to see you again, Francis.

  • Kevin in PA August 21, 2021, 9:09 AM

    Why don’t you give a real “fire and brimstone” sermon and really make them worry?

    I mean if they have already labeled you (me, and the rest of us) as “terrorists” why not give them a bit of terror?….or at least some bad dreams at night.

  • ghostsniper August 21, 2021, 12:25 PM

    Similar situation here Tom. My wife got the 2 stabs. I was sockdalagered. Gobsmacked. I thought her and me were on the same page. I guess silence creates a vacuum, a void, that the media will instantly fill. I could not talk her out of it though I tried several times. At that time I was still unaware of how dangerous it was. If I knew then what I knew now I probably would have been more assertive in my stance.

    Right after she got the first stab she off handedly said, “Anybody that lives in this house will get vaccinated.” I immediately replied, “My army duffle bag is always packed.” I have not heard another word about it. So far she has not told me about any weerd symptoms arrising from this experiment she has been conned into.

    So this whole thing has now taken a deeply personal affront to me and I must think another way, a way I have not done for more than 37 years.

  • LP August 21, 2021, 3:17 PM

    So far I’ve been able to escape the jab. I’m not going to a foreign country anytime soon, but I’m still hoping this will all eventually blow over.

    That’s not my main worry though.

    I’m still on the fence about whether we have to worry about our very survival. I live near a lake where we have fresh water and fresh fish, so we won’t die instantly.

  • Casey Klahn August 21, 2021, 7:08 PM

    I have no fucking way of knowing for certain anything I read is true. I read one thing “medical”, and then I read the exact opposite. The last thing I read said that those vaccinated still may pass contagion or be contagious if exposed to ‘vid, and so, in my mind, why the fuk do these bastards consider themselves better than an unvaxed? Passion overcomes logic. I saw this funny cartoon of a kid on his bike with a stick. The first panel says “got the vax’. The next panel has him sticking his front wheel, and it says “gets Covid”. The last frame has him wrecked, and he says, “goddamned anti-vaxers!”

    My wife, a retired ARNP, has the jab as does my daughter. My son and I: no. My whole thinking is the numbers look like it’s a flu and is unworthy of my attention. 1 poor soul per million dies with covid written on his toe tag. Doesn’t mean he died of Delta covid. just means some springbutt doc wrote covid on the death certificate. Evidence of corruption has been shown with that. When I say: “there ain’t no covid,” I am reading stats in the news. Even with corrupt inflation of the numbers, it still is underwhelming.

    I’m not afraid of the jab; I have no idea what to make of the negative news about vaccine troubles. there are some interesting examples of trouble’ Eric Clapton’s response comes to mind. It’s all anecdotal.

    The more they demand I get the jab, the more they can kiss my ass instead.

  • Tom Hyland August 21, 2021, 9:18 PM

    I can’t remember if I already posted this at AD so if I’m repeating myself, sorry about that. This is very spooky information. I’ve stopped communicating with friends and family who’ve been vaxxed. I don’t want to taunt them now that they took the shot. That would be utter cruelty. But these people truly fucked up. There was a video presentation conducted by the FDA on October 22, 2020 which was almost 9 hours in length. The slide production is narrated by a spokesman for the FDA named Steven Anderson. At the precise moment of 2:33:40 Mr. Anderson skips past a slide visible for only a split second. This slide is titled “Working List of Possible Adverse Outcomes” and it displays 23 possible ways death could befall a vaccinated individual. The FDA knew very well what the vaccines were intended to do, which was to kill men, women and children of every age via blood disorders. Months before the first vaccine was made available the FDA already knew what was going to happen.