Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our Era Of War Began 100 Years Ago...

Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were murdered on this date, 100 years ago.  The Great War began a month later, and this world hasn't had much rest from fighting since.  We'll be posting a few poems, and songs as a reminder of the tragedy of what is now known as World War I, at least until it all becomes too depressing.

Don Marquis, the Illinois author and newspaper writer posted a very good thought in his writings by archy:

"the league...incidentally i wonder why europe of today
                    is always referred to by highbrow writers
                    as post war europe
                    they seem to think that the war
                    which started in nineteen fourteen
                    is over with whereas there have been
                    merely a few brief truces
                    that war is merely worrying through
                    its first half century
                    and will only cease permanently
                    when a generation comes along
                    which has forgotten all the old feuds
                                                archy the cockroach"

This was written during the 1920's so we can forgive Mr. Marquis for missing by at least half....

E. L. Doctorow, in the novel Ragtime wrote just a few words at the beginning and end of his book that have stuck in my head.  Here they are, beginning at the end of Ragtime, and then going back to Chapter One:

 "Houdini realized he was now raised to his assigned height...He was upside down over Broadway, the year was 1914, and the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was reported to have been assassinated.  It was at this moment that an image composed itself in Houdini's mind.  The image was of a small boy looking at himself in the shiny brass headlamp of an automobile...(previously)...The little boy had followed the magician to the street and now stood at the front of the Pope-Toledo gazing at the distorted macrocephalic image of himself in the shiny brass fitting of the headlight.  Houdini thought the boy comely, fair like his mother, and tow-headed, but a little soft-looking.  He leaned over the side door.  Goodbye, Sonny, he said holding out his hand.  Warn the Duke, the little boy said."

No comments: