POEM: “shield”

shield” 

during months or years of peace
his wife has been polishing--the shield 
blackened as it hung in the chimney corner
 
respond to the call to fight 
plain duty admits no hesitation. 
a hard interruption of their happy lives, 
the risk of passing 
from the warm company of men 
to the chill shades of death. they knew bravery 
is not an everyday possession.
highly as they prized it

to warm their hearts for the clash 
most Greek armies 
as they charged,
shouted,
that each might borrow from the general stock 
courage. 

what best suits the citizen-soldier 
battle 
in which one short effort carries him forward, 
in which a man’s duty to his immediate comrade 
best spurs his intent.

during months or years of peace
the shield blackened as it hung in the chimney corner
his wife has been polishing



*
--found poem taken from The Greek and Macedonian Art of War by F.E. Adcock. If you are unfamiliar with this type of poetry, it’s a way of collaging the work of another author into a unique poem by clipping, altering, and rearranging pieces into something new.

*image courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net via Creative Commons Licensing.

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