Thursday, May 14, 2015

Have you read Siegfried Sassoon?

Good-morning; good-morning!" the General said

When we met him last week on our way to the line.

 Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,

And we're cursing his staff for incompetent swine.

 "He's a cheery old card," grunted Harry to Jack

As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

      But he did for them both by his plan of attack.

He was a friend of Robert Graves and Wilfred Owen. This is one of his best known poems but he has some even better.


  1. Hey Harry,


    With respect I really can't get into poetry. However I do realize the historical significance of the above poem.

    I just recalled a poem I did find interesting once in a college literature class and that was Robert Frost's "The Road less traveled"

    Throughout my life I kinda took "the road less traveled"

    Back to radio thing. A friend of mine who has a CB base station said he would help me out setting up a base station (If you recall, I said I was going to put this on the backburner)
    My friend is a good fellow but he also has a full plate and I am not 'holding my breath' and waiting for help with a base station. Mostly what I need is just technical help with what to buy besides antenna, swr meter if I need one, etc, etc.

    This is the reason I ordered the Wilson 1000, magnetic mount, five foot whip antenna yesterday and a plug to stick into the cigarette lighter (with inline fuse) and plug into the radio. I don't want the radio to be permanently mounted in a truck. I want it to be 'removable' in case I park in a high crime area where vehicle break in's occur and leave the radio and antenna at home (Don't feed the Street Urchin's)

    I may just later on down the road purchase a real nice base station radio that is A/C powered like Ranger RCI 3995 model. That would eliminate the power supply issue. The only challenge at that point will be the antenna and any hardware or cables associated with the radio.

    Going back to what you said 'Harry. I think I would monitor most of the time and not talk. I find that by listening to conversations and learning can be more fruitful and interesting.

    1. I like some poetry. I'm interested in a lot of different subjects where poetry is the best medium for understanding them. The Norse Saga's are poetry, the Iliad and the Odyssey are poetry.The Song of Roland is poetry. Horatius at the Bridge is great poetry. I'm also interested in the people who wrote it, and why they did. Sasson, Graves and Owen are hard to consider separately because they interacted so much. Graves wasn't really a poet, he's best know for the "I, Claudius" books, but he helps you understand Sasson since they were contemporaries and close friends.

      I'm glad the antenna thing is resolved. You seem to have spent a hell of a lot of time on it, wise considering the whole system has to be integrated.

  2. A powerful poem, The guys at the top were sheltered from their decisions a lot of the time.

    1. Sassoon and Owen wrote poetry about their experiences , largely I think because that was the only way they could express themselves. Sassoon suffered a nervous breakdown (called shell shock back then), wound up in a psychiatric hospital, and narrowly avoided a courtsmartial because of his strongly antiwar sentiments. Graves never recovered from his war experience, moved to the Island of Majorca, and was essentially a recluse for the rest of his life. Owen was killed in action on 4 Nov, 1918, exactly one week to the hour before the war ended.

  3. The line that's pretty impactful to me is, "Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of 'em dead,"

    1. General's make visits to the troops on the line as "morale" enhancement. In some cases, where the General is respected and popular, this works. In others, where the General is a political creature and worked his way up to a star on the golf course and in the officer's club, the effect is diametrically opposite. The British were cursed with a large number of Generals who were still fighting the Boer War, particularly in the initial stages of World War I. French Generals were enthralled with the concept of "Glory" and didn't hesitate to pick a few men at random out of a unit that failed, and shoot them "to encourage the others." The Germans had the best Generals, though even some of them, like Ludendorff, were Prima Donna's.

  4. Typo on my part. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I've corrected it.