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.”