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The Bravest of the Brave

The bravest of the brave
Will rise to meet the foe
And fear not who they well may be
As marching on they go.
They stand before the fierce
And find the faith to put
Their trust in god, yet still they take
A bullet in the foot.

The bravest of the brave
Will rise and soldier on
And have no fear of danger
Till all their rivals gone.
They fight their bloody war
Oblivious to harm,
They trust in god, yet still they take
A bullet in the arm.

The bravest of the brave
Will fear not where they tread
But in the end they're sure to take
A bullet in the head.
With all our brave men slaughtered,
But be that as it may,
The bravest of the very brave
Must rise to face the day.

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?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Editing stage: 


I think this makes for a fine anti-war poem. I like the language and your poem's underlying idea of "bravery," although I'd rather be a coward and live on to make love than to offer up my noggin to a sniper's bullet.
Thinking about "bravery," I would add that a brave man may receive a medal (posthumously) or, most likely, a bullet through his head. Stupid wars . . . . Jerry

Thanks for reading. I agree with your welcome comment.

My dreams are of a field afar
And blood and smoke and shot.
There in their graves my comrades are,
In my grave I am not.

I too was taught the trade of man
And spelt the lesson plain;
But they, when I forgot and ran,
Remembered and remain.

A.E. Housman

Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan

author comment

I am immediately distracted by "bullet to a foot", it is so unexpected and (very sadly) slightly comical in a slapstick kind of way. So I thought from there you were going to proceed with the irony and make the poem a parody of poems that praise the brave in the stupidity and realty of war. In the following I was looking for that, but the last 2 lines made me feel like- the bravest of the brave, wherever they get shot, still must rise and face danger, its the luck of the draw. There's a nobility about it I sense in that. And so not sure of the whole intent of the poem.
Housman's poem poem is very clever, and certainly more clear. I love that- "the trade of man"
Thanks for that too.

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

that the reference to "a bullet to the foot" was from those, who rather than go to the front; would shoot themselves in the foot, claiming an "accident". Thusly giving life to the saying; "Don't shoot yourself in the foot". I understood the inference, and thought it indeed, felt tragic in a comical sort of way. Good poem, Sometimes, you can't please everybody. ~ Geezer.

Come to Chat on the Darkside
every other Saturday night 8pm to ?
Bring your dark and delicious work
to show.

Thanks for your good comments. Some soldiers broke open a rifle cartridge and swallowed the 'cordite', which temporarily slowed down the heart rate and gave them a grey completion, in order to go sick. The medics soon wised up to this but if you shot yourself in the foot you would be sent to the sick bay.

Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan

author comment

that we are all brave in our own different ways Eumolpus. Your own bravery is partly in your fingers. You are brave enough to pluck your strings before an audience. You don't need to be a soldier to be brave.
Some people face mental illness and are brave enough to rise each morning and face whatever the day may throw at them, some are not and end (or attempt to end) their own life.
Bravery is to be found in many different guises.

Thank you ever so much for being brave enough to comment here today. I am pleased that you enjoyed Housman, I love his work and this, I think, is a fine example of how he wrote in short witty quatrains. As you say, he gets said all he has to say in a shortly, clever way.

Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan

author comment

Hi Alan, your poem almost brought me to tears. Very well written, with good end rhymes and well chosen words. I especially appreciate the lines I've pasted below:

With all our brave men slaughtered,
But be that as it may,
The bravest of the very brave
Must rise to face the day.

The irony is that my two uncles were slaughtered at a very young age during stupid, senseless WWI. They disappeared "somewhere in France" after about 3 months of service. So they never "rose to face the day". My father was 18 when the war ended, so he came over to Argentina.

I'll return for another read, bye for now.


Still, after more that one hundred years, There are people who are personally affected by the consequences of the 14/18 conflict. My grandfather was on the Somme in 1916, although he clearly survived. Many, many other survivors of that, and all conflicts, went on to be haunted for the rest of their lives. They had to rise to face the day.

I have composed several poems which are dedicated to the futility of war and there are, of course many more, some by poets who witnessed events first hand.

One particular piece of mine was written in 2016 (100 years after Somme). I will post it with the hope that you may find time to comment. Your critique is, of course, so very important to me. I have titled it (rightly or wrongly) 'Quo Vadis et ego Rogabo' ~ Where goest thou, ask I.

Somewhere on Neopoet, also, is a remembrance day poem by myself 'The Scarlet and the Black' which may evoke your thoughts of your uncles.

I appreciate your taking the time to stop by and comment today and tell your endearing story.

Critique is a compliment
Kind regards, Alan

author comment
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