To End All

The Great War (later renamed World War I) began on July 28, 1914.  The rapid mobilization of armies carried the war forward until November 18, 1918.  This poem shares a narrative voice of those decisive years.

American World War I cemetery near Verdun, France. (courtesy of Pinterest)

Entangling treaties joining nations

Old school diplomacy’s fixation

Glorification of war’s romance

Titanic wills collide, ghostly dance

 

Distant continent boiling over

Single shot ignites war’s makeover

Ill-prepared, mortal combat waiting

Millions now face death, devastating

 

Modern weaponry overpowers

Military tactics of old sour

Now transforming nations’ fertile ground

Mankind’s killing fields, forever found

 

Privileged few making decisions

Common citizens fill divisions

Ruthless fighting in blood-filled trenches

Calling soldiers into death’s clenches

 

Exhausted nations, pushing ahead

World waiting for war’s sunset instead

Men, resources, and will running low

At last, reason stops war’s bloody flow

 

War to end all wars finally ends

Lasting peace stands ready to pretend

 

When the armistice was signed, the world hoped for lasting peace. (courtesy of Pinterest)

English writer, H. G. Wells (1866-1946), who is sometimes called the “Father of Science Fiction,” also provided social commentary.  These words share his sentiments about war:  “It is not reasonable that those who gamble with men’s lives should not stake their own.”  “If we don’t end war, war will end us.”

15 thoughts on “To End All

  1. I remember as a kid I would look to see what important things happened on my birthday or what famous people were born on that day. Turns out, the war to end all wars began 51 years before I breathed my first breathe. And, sadly, the wars continue. I appreciate this post a lot. I love your poem and I really dig the quote about war at the end. You’ve planted the seeds for a future post or two of my own, so I’m even more grateful. Keep up the good work my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mr. B…this has such a powerful flow! The kind of piece I would have liked to read as a Thespian in highschool. Little known fact about me—I was Wisconsin state gold medalist in poetry reading 1986.

    “The war to end all wars”. We keep waiting for this to happen, and yet seem so terrified of it as well. What choice do we have? I wonder, if we viewed war not as fighting each other, but as fighting “principalities” would we feel differently?
    Would we war differently? And where is the real battlefield? I believe it is our own minds. God’s Peace, Mr. B.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nina, thanks for sharing your love of poetry, either as a reader or a writer. Wow, there is a Thespian among us. My love and appreciation of history shows up in a poem once in awhile. Blessings to you as the week continues to unfold.

      Like

  3. Excellent poem. As I grow older I can see that war is nothinng more than man’s attempt at power. The political influences the social and the fear takes over. Minds become polluted and often fight for a cause they don’t believe in and they shed their blood for it. The only hope for peace in this world is Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

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