On Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:49:00 -0800, P <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Thanks Rickard. I tried. :)
>It's quite remarkable isn't it!
>One doesn't get the Victoria Cross for just any old act of courage.
>They're as scarce as hens' teeth.
A few lines from "Antwerp" by Ford Madox Hueffer:
And what in the world did they bear it for?
I don’t know.
And what in the world did they dare it for?
Perhaps that is not for the likes of me to understand.
The poem in full is at: http://www.bartleby.com/265/165.html
And, getting back on topic, in a paper entitled 'T.S. Eliot’s Letter to “The
Nation”' there are the following paragraphs:
[Eliot] certainly didn’t feel that most war poetry took the war
seriously. At a time when patriotic effusions were just about everywhere, he
pointedly remarked that “Antwerp” by Ford Madox Hueffer was “the only good
poem I have met with on the subject of the war”. “Antwerp” is a poem about
the paradox of courage and endurance emerging among men who appear banal. It
does not evade “the sordid and disagreeable” and shows how the business
“must be put through”.
Eliot was looking at the English war not just through the eyes of an
American who could see the oddity of much that the English took for granted,
but with a sensibility educated by reading Laforgue and Baudelaire. The
banal, the sordid and the horrific were subjects with which poetry must in
some way deal. Eliot’s critical prose of the war years is full of praise for
writers who face the horrific, and ridicule for those who avoid it, or try
to explain it away.
If we haven't seen this webpage before we certainly have seen the letter
that Eliot submitted to "The Nation" magazine. It was a letter from the
front by a young Army officer that was most likey from his brother-in-law. I
draw your attention to