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(A Terza Rima Sonnet)

No noble cause on wings shall rise
above the bloody battle field
in full retreat and compromise.

No soldier born would ever yield
one inch of ground without a fight,
unless borne on his broken shield.

No coward stands within foe's sight,
instead, he stumbles to the rear
when shooting starts, he turns in flight.

No victory is ever clear.
Until surrender yields an end,
one cannot get to there from here.

No losing side can long contend
against a foe who will not rest,
nor win the peace they won't defend.

No cry like empty womb's protest.
No freedom without war's contest.



------
The Gadfly


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Comments

The following comments are for "No Cry, No Freedom"
by TheGadfly

No cry, no freedom.
I tend not to put my two cents in here at Lit.org when war is the topic, but this was too good to pass up. As poetry, this is a damn fine example. Eloquent and articulate, short and executed with precision. I staggered on the third stanza for some reason, though after numerous times reading it, I can't figure out why. The first, fifth and sixth stanzas were my favorites.

Thank you very much for posting, it was a very good read.

( Posted by: chinadoll [Member] On: August 4, 2006 )

Thank you
China doll, I am grateful for your affirmation and review.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: August 4, 2006 )

No Cry No Freedom
I have to agree with chinadoll. Excellent work.

( Posted by: wanda [Member] On: August 4, 2006 )

Mindless bluster
A clever rationalization of evil, sure to impress the impressionable.

Well-done!

( Posted by: Viper9 [Member] On: August 4, 2006 )

Reflection
Thank you Wanda and Viper for reviewing the poem.

The issue of "the rationalization of evil" is an interesting distraction. Which is more impressive: the man who expesses his opinion freely, having never fought to defend such right, or the man who lays his life on the line in defense such right, having never exercised it?

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: August 4, 2006 )

Gadfly
Man, if we could find anyone who "his life on the line in defense" of any sort of freedom, it might make for an interesting discussion. I just don't find puppets all that impressive, no matter how grandiose their delusions might be. I grew out of puppets in grade school.

Everyone who commits evil comes up with some sort of rationalization to support it. No one likes to believe that what they're doing is evil. "Defending freedoms" has been popular in your country for a long time, but it's menaingless. It's hot air, as all rationalizations are.

What's impressive about being used? What's impressive about covering up evil behaviour with thin rationalizations? What's impressive about killing people in the service of delusion? Nothing.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: August 4, 2006 )

Perspective
Dear Viper,

I suppose if you were at the receiving end of the enemy's gun barrel, you might better answer your own question. Havinfg both served in the military and actively no as a peace officer, I am willing to risk my life to defend the freedom of others.

Those who are unwilling to fight for freedom are doomed to suffer tyranny, or are simple cowards. I do not know what country you live in or the freedoms you enjoy, but whatever freedoms you do have were most likely paid for at the expense of others.

You sound like an ungrateful snob.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: August 5, 2006 )

Missed The Point
From a writing stand-point I think your verse is tightly written and says some okay things although it's rather cliche - the same thing has been said in the same way by many other writers. Nothing really new or unique or creative in your version.

I'm with Viper on this one and I think you are missing his point. The US hasn't been in a war to protect our freedoms in many decades. Our most recent wars have not been to protect our freedoms and the freedoms of others. They have been based on retaliation (Afghanistan), and oil and economic considerations.

Your piece here strikes me as a flag-waving missive in support of current US foreign policy.

I, too, am a veteran.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: August 5, 2006 )

Gomar gets it
Glad to see that, as I've always respected him.

Defense is fine. If you must defend yourself then you're justified in doing so, to the point at which the immediate threat is dispelled. Pursuing your attacker to "teach him a lesson he'll never forget," and slaughtering his family, friends, and neighbours would take you well past the point of defence.

Trouble is, defense is irrelevant most of the time, though everyone likes to call what they're doing "defense" as though the word could mean anything they wished.

I'm reading an excellent history of the Soviet gulag system right now. Even when they were rounding up innocent people in their homes and marching them off to Kamchatka, what did the Soviets call it? What was their excuse, their rationalization? Defense.

I know someone who is acutely sensitive to the slights and abuses of others. When others mistreat someone, it bothers her and she has to speak out. When others use people, manipulate, behave abusively, she rails against them with righteous fury.

Yet the fcat that she commits those same misbhevaiours, those same abuses, daily -- that utterly escapes her notice. She can't see that she treats her husband like filth, in a way that she would call "criminal" if anyone else did it. Some people ahve been so shocked by her behaviour that they've stopped visiting her. She's lost a lot of friends because she embodies everything she says she hates.

There are, it seems, a lot of people like that. Entire nations, some say (though I think they oversimplify).

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: August 5, 2006 )

Issue of respect
Viper, I wonder if you would respect Gomar if he had not agreed with your point of view.

Gomar, as a veteran, I doubt if you would have refused to fight, if ordered into the field of battle regardless of the cause. How easy is it now, having served honorably, to forget the call of duty from your comfortable armchair? Whether you find the cause just or the necessity questionable is NOT the purpose of the piece.

That Viper chooses to make everything about the current U.S. conflict, or you apply it to any US conflict you descry as cliche, the underlying purpose of defense is NOT to sit vunerably and idly by in hopes your enemy will not gain strength and technology to overpower you. Neville Chamberlain tried that with Mr. Hitler to the utter ruin of Europe.

War is about gaining the upper hand with an opponent. To engage in war merely to repel an attacker until he stops attacking is to invite future attacks. Unconditional surrender is what compelled both Germany and Japan to end their respective hostilities in World War II. Sixty-one years later, Germany and Japan are functional governments due to US intervention and support. It took a great deal of time, money, and sacrifice to get them to that place.

To think the radical Muslim jihad would end by merely withdrawing from the Middle East, is to ignore history and the enemy's declared intent. Whatever you think of US foreign policy in the Middle East, the absence of another 9-11 attack in the last five years, seems an equitable trade off and a suitable defense for the U.S.

Our enemy is radical Muslim jihadism. Ay non-muslim nation will suffer the same fate of seige as Israel sooner or later, if the enemy is not pressed and kept at bay. The only thing they understand and respect is strength.

How quickly we have forgotten the WTC attack.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: August 6, 2006 )

gadfly
You need to hunker down and learn some history, including the history of these comments. In no way did mine or Gomar's comments apply just to the current US war. We were both upfront about that.

Notice that you're doing the same thing the Soviets did: calling whatever you want "defense" by using your imagination irresponsibly. It's fantasyland. It's what Hitler was doing when he took pre-emptive action to "defend" German culture and values, the German way of life, from Jews. Evil in all cases, including your own.

And you vastly overestimate what the US did for Germany and Japan (especially in the case of Germany), while vastly underestimating the contributions made by the rest of the world, which doesn't seem to exist in your fantasyland.

Then, with your nonsense about current US hostilities preventing another WTCish attack, you not only ignore the fact that such hostilities increased the prevelance of attacks by an astounding degree (both in number and total casualties) and empowered radical terrorist organizations (other than the US, which has lost much of its power), you also commit the fallacy of "post hoc, ergo propter hoc". That's when someone claims that because something happened (or didn't happen) after X, it must be because of X. This is why evidence is so important, to prevent such fallacious reasoning. Ever heard of that? Evidence?

And with Israel, you utterly ignore the sixty years of history that precede this year's attacks. Again. Thankfully, you follow it up with the standard idiot's line, "the only thing they understand is" . . . whatever you're trying to justify. Like we haven't herad that bullshit enough.

Of course, what the US has done is not only evil, but strategically disastrous. It has more enemies than ever before. It's alienated most of its allies. It's put itself into irrecoverable debt. Worse, it no longer has the reosurces necessary to fend off a concentrated attack. The US has played into the hands of nations like North Korea and Iran, who want to commit the same kinds of evils that the US commits. All those enemies see now when they look at the US is opportunity. Way to go, guys.

You do realize that there's a lot more to history than what you find in Time-Life books, I hope, and that what you find in those books is, to put it politely, misleading?

Hit the books, buddy. Then we'll talk. You'll be surprised how much your opinions will change when they become informed rather than ignorant.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: August 6, 2006 )

Standing Up
I don't own a comfortable arm chair.

( Posted by: gomarsoap [Member] On: August 6, 2006 )

Thank you
Penelope, thank you for pointing out the fragrant flowers rising from the battlefield...lol.

Thanks for sharing the poem Eric.

And Viper, your short-sighted version of WWII and the politics of that day have revisionism splashed all over it. Hitler claimed lands as previously German from neighboring countries in defiance of the Versailles Treaty. Mr. Chamberlain, on the other hand, hesitated to respond with force in the hope Hitler would not grab more land.

It was not until the invasion of Poland, that England took action, albeit too late.

As for the rebuilding of Germany, you are again re-writing history. The Marshall Plan was the most expensive help and comprehensive U.S. support of another nation, at the time it was conceived. The U.S. was still paying the bill into the 1960's. It stabilized westewrn Europe while the Soviets were busy gobbling up the eastern block and establishing the iron curtain. The U.S. intervention with the Berlin airlift saved West Germany's half of that city if you will recall.

Your resentment toward the United States does not change the truth of history, Viper. The rest of the world, by comparison, did not contribute anywhere near what the U.S. did. The same situation continued to be true with the financial support of the United Nations. The U. S. remains one of the most generous and charitable countries in the world, whether you like it or not.

As for your logic lesson, your assertion will only bear evidence should some major terrorist catastrophe occur on U.S. soil again.

I was not ignoring the jihadist war machine, I merely had not addressed it. Truly, the ants have been disturbed in the radical Muslim jihadist world. Their intentions to destroy the West have been quite clear for decades. They, like the dead Soviet experiment you so dearly love to quote, have this bad habit of torturing and executing non-believers and dissenters. The Taliban in Afghanistan was an excellent example of what we can expect from radical Muslim jihadism if we do nothing but watch and wait.

Examine the charter of 1948, which the Arab nations agreed to, if you want to know the history of the Israeli struggle. It was the neighbors of Israel who violated the charter (and continue to do so) that has continued to stir the pot to boiling.

You are quick to call U.S. foreign policy evil, while ignoring the kidnappings, beheadings, car bombings, assassinations, and executions of civilians done in the name of Allah and radical Muslim jihadism. All of these horrible acts are truly evil. Do you descry these heinous acts as vehemently as U.S. foreign policy?

Your perpetual attempts to insult and belittle me are unnecessary. If I have in anyway demeaned, criticized, or accused you of being less than intelligent; reviewed anything you have written and posted volumes of vitriolic political opinings; or attempted to publicly embarass you to inflate my own ego, I apologize. If I have inadvertently wounded you in some fashion by writing an opinion contrary to your dearly held beliefs, I assure you it was not intentional by any means.

It is, after all, a poem.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: August 7, 2006 )

Right
Now I remember why I gave up on you months ago. No hope. You ignore the actual words used by people you disagree with, substituting int heir stead simple-minded versiosn of what "liberals" are supposed to believe. I'm not even a liberal.

Case in point, I've called all killings evil - -both in this exchange and in our previous exchange. All sides are equally guilty. That point, though it isn't subtle, utterly passed you by.

I'm done with you.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: August 7, 2006 )

Thank you
I appreciate your heartfelt apology, Viper. I wish you only the best.

( Posted by: TheGadfly [Member] On: August 7, 2006 )

Love and Heartbreak
I love you, too, sweet Gadfly. You will always be in my heart. I shall long for you eternally.

( Posted by: viper9 [Member] On: August 7, 2006 )





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