September Song

born 19.6.32 - deported 24.9.42

Undesirable you may have been, untouchable
you were not. Not forgotten
or passed over at the proper time.

As estimated, you died. Things marched,
sufficient, to that end.
Just so much Zyklon and leather, patented
terror, so many routine cries.

(I have made
an elegy for myself it
is true)

September fattens on vines. Roses
flake from the wall. The smoke
of harmless fires drifts to my eyes.

This is plenty. This is more than enough.

by Geoffrey Hill

Comments (2)

Owen recognizes a true paradox. First, not only the folly, but the criminality of war: For power was on us as we slashed bones bare Not to feel sickness or remorse of murder. But also. the way men rose to the occasion. I love the lines: For love is not the binding of fair lips With the soft silk of eyes that look and long. By joy, whose ribbon slips, - But wound with war's hard wire whose stakes are strong; Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips; Knit in the welding of the rifle-thong.
I like this one, its Good