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Do birds still sing at Gettysburg
in fields where Pickett made his charge
or is the weight of history there
.............too large?

I can't imagine cheerful quail
or scornful mocking birds
are tolerated at that place
where brave men screamed their final words.

And meadow larks don't belong there
where crows still silently fly by
recalling souls carried to elsewhere
by their forebears with tired sigh.

But in the close surrounding woods
one might hear an owl or two
still solemnly seeking war's inventors
as they ask each other "Who?"

Doves belong there in their flocks
on any summer eve or morning
all dressed in their dull gray smocks
as they go about their mourning.

It must be a nearly silent place
hushed by ghosts of gray and blue
where hot blood turned the tide of war
where merry bird song still won't do.

Style / type: 
Structured: Western
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Editing stage: 


Thank you. I hope my short break will have proven for the best...................stan

author comment

A very good write on your civil war Place where 8000 soldiers gave their all for what they believed was right. It must have been horrific.
God was on both sides, as usual, but you can't blame him he was just watching man flay around..
I had ten postcards in my collection of a panoramic view of Gettysburg's battles, and sold them to a person in the USA. (For Peanuts)
What they did was put up a post in the middle of the battle field and the artist would sit there and paint all the area obviously done just after the battle from accounts by the soldiers.
The detail on the cards was excellent just before Cameras I guess.
Thanks Stan, for your write it is always great, I expect we will carry on with this one a little longer, Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

I've often thought that had the South won that battle whether a negotiated peace would have resulted in which America would have been split in two. And had that happened who would have been there to stop the imperial Japanese and Nazis. There actually were cameras during the time of this war and the photos of the carnage from these battles is exceeded only by those of the first world war's trench warfare. As always' good of you to drop by............stan

author comment

Guess I should get around to comment since you've already thanked me! LOL!! I enjoyed the theme of this piece and the tone throughout. It was dignified, had great imagery, and got its point across excellently! Nice job!

I think the thanks was for a comment you'd made before one of your time outs during which you removed a bunch of comments lol. But that doesn't matter as I always like to see you've come by..........stan

author comment

in gay today
in USA
as gals are called birdies Stan
go and with em play
have a gay day
well this gay
is like olden
be not mistaken
the modern
ala world is changing
no no not clothes
in manner of warming

two words which have lost their meaning. I recall when being gay meant one was happy.......sigh.......stan

author comment

I was born 4 months after Pearl Harbour, 1941
18 months after the battle of Britain, Sept 1940 where The RAF with many free airman from France Poland and the Commonwealth and some from the States fought the German's and beat their asses, my first memory as you have probably seen sometimes was June 6th 1944, when the combined war machine of the free world invaded Europe to beat the Germans by 1945.
I wonder now, what with Germany being reunited and how they hold control over the EU along with the French, where did we go wrong.
We ran out of money along the way and I don't really want to go there but this is the way things are now.
Not sure who won, and did those brave men in those conflicts, the Japanese war well WW11 in general, fight, so that we could stop domination by any country on others.
I become sad at our losses the more I see who has really won..
Yours old and grumpy, Ian.T

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

ever truly wins a war. In the war between the states the south was defeated. But now it's the northern rust belt states which are in worst shape.............stan

author comment

The purpose of those wars wasn't to end economic domination, it was to reverse military aggression. I expect the main reason for British decline was the period of socialism ya'll had to endure. Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money to spend. We moderates and conservatives are fighting tooth and nail over here to beat the socialist back......stan

author comment

the work is tight and concise with very great nouns and adjectives
and descriptors that flow into the pace proudly and sadly without
the melancholic lament..A timeless at ease stance to this
poetic observant and Dedicated ode to country and honor!

thank U!

Thank you
I am a bit surprised that a small edit which brought this back to stream has resulted in so many comments. I appreciate your taking time to read..........stan

author comment

Just getting the facts correct, 50,000 men died that day. 50,000. Hard to even think.
I had a very very dear friend who recently past on who was a civil war buff and lead me around the battlefield and knew every inch of it. it is still a haunted place. I think your poem well conceived and has many very strong images connecting the very prevalent bird community there and man's history.

Personally, I would cut the poem in half. For a single theme work, it's a bit redundant. I don't like the first stanza's dot dot dot, seems out of place to me. The owl thing is a little too cute.

I really like the last stanza. I would also prefer some additional imagery of the carnage that took place there, to connect the horror of human war with these birds who dare sing at that field.

I still have right in front of me a bullet from the souvenir shop. A heavy piece of lead. I keep it in my desk drawer.

I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

Can't make up your mind huh? lol. First you say cut the poem in half then you say add to it. I'm well aware of my tendency to ramble a bit too much. As to the carnage, I assume almost everybody who is aware of the war between the states is also aware of the horror of this battle which was only surpassed by the battle of Antetium (sic). 50000 people in one battle, that's almost hard to imagine. I appreciate your dropping by for this oldie which only came back on stream due to a minor edit...........stan

author comment

Fought between July 1 and July 3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg claimed the lives of more than 3,000 Union soldiers and almost 5,000 Confederates. The total number of casualties from the battle is estimated to range from 46,000 to 51,000, with major fighting dragged over three hot, grueling days.
Sorry my figures should have been better researched please forgive the mistake. I am unable to edit that reply other wise I would put the total figures in the comment.
No matter this was a dreadful loss to the Americas..
Yours as always Ian..

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

being that the artillery of the time and long rifles and hand guns
were primitive...even counting sabres....the carnage would be in
slow motion....wave after wave thrown upon each other
once brothers in arms in the country broke free of the British
commanwealth......It must have been smashing!!!
beyond horror!
Our entire city population is roughly a little over this number
but consider that a standing human vertical only takes up
a cubic foot...if i jammed all the city dwellers up
facing one way..rifle slung on would be not too great
a space really...
in a village five miles from where i grew up on the rail line
built in 1888..villages roads stage came first then rail1
we had a citizen who went and fought and died in the
civil war...many immigrants moved family
were schermerhorns or schamehorns..arrived in
new amsterdam in new york late seventeen hundreds
the name appears in Blazing Saddles and gangs of
New York...a large number of brothers came up into
Ontario and settled..
My chums and I were touring graveyards marvelling
at the young age of the deceased...
and came across the american sanctioned headstone
I knew of a re enactor from a small town..he wore
the uniform and kit and even a horse in Muskoka
and because he did this yearly...the uniform was worn
his kit vintaged.....I liked talking to him
he greatly spoke of the natives in the civil war who
were snipers for their vision due to the hunting skills
said I could have been such
which was true...then I had twenty twenty vision
in those times the snipers wore the green wool
jackets to blend in with the trees
a rudimentary scope...
I had always wanted the cap of the northern
due to my ojibway or cree ancestry..we
were of the north
perhaps one day...
your poem is the stark ode to those
who fell

thank U..


I am southern born and southern bred and when I die I'll be southern dead. Roll me in flour and throw me in old I'd be southern fried lol. Too many people have been led to believe this war was started over slavery but it was only later on that Lincoln change it to such. Most of the soldiers as well as citizens never even owned slave. This was left to the wealthy on both sides of this war. Indeed there were plantations in South Carolina whose owners were black and also owned slaves. This war was the result os southern states leaving the union (which the constitution allied) and the north fearing they's lost their cheap source of cotton and food crops. The first real battle was the union invading the south and being driven back across the Potomic. The southern troops saw this as a war of aggression by the north and were fighting to protect their homes.
I still think even after Gettysburg that had Lee continued the invasion of the north using tactics for resupply similar to Sherman in his march to the sea he could have brought the true horror of this war to the populace of the north and perhaps have won a negotiated peace. But Lee was reluctant to use tactics which Sherman used............but things turned out OK over the long term as America remained united and strong for the wars of the 20th century......stan

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