Last summer I managed to keep up with Poetry Friday but didn’t feel I had the stamina to go year round. But it’s National Poetry Month and I don’t feel like I can ignore it so I’m sort of double-dipping and doing a PF post both here and my other blog. Both poems come from the recent anthology America At War edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins with illustrations by Stephen Alcorn.
The book breaks down the selections by war, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with the Iraq War. Most of the poems were written during the wars they represent, some in hindsight, all of them offering a panoply of American involvement in warfare.
The Hague, Holland
May 10, 1940
Heidi Bee Roemer
Tossed from the Luftwaffe,
fluttering to the streets below,
Nazi propaganda leaflets.
A little Dutch girl snatches them up,
stuffs the sheets into her basket,
and brings them home for her family’s use.
Toilet paper from heaven
I imagine kids today getting a small chuckle from this poem. In the book the illustration shows a stack of leaflets with a swastika on the top showing pinned to the wall, a leaflet showing Hitler’s face peering out from the toilet. But I don’t hesitate to wonder if the same thing didn’t happen recently. By May 2003, the end of major combat operations in professed by President Bush (“mission accomplished”), more than 31 million leaflets had fallen on Iraq.* I wonder what happened to all those leaflets.
As I said, I’m double-dipping and including another poem from the same collection over at my other virtual home, the excelsior file. It’s an e.e. cummings poem, my sweet old etcetera.
Check out all the Poetry Friday goodness this week over at Becky’s Book Reviews.
* See Herbert Friedman’s “Falling Leaves,” originally printed in Print magazine (September—October 2003), available online: http://www.psywar.org/fallingleaves.php