Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"The Fury of Aerial Bombardment" by Richard Eberhart

The Fury of Aerial Bombardment

You would think the fury of aerial bombardment
Would rouse God to relent; the infinite spaces
Are still silent. He looks on shock-pried faces.
History, even, does not know what is meant.

You would feel that after so many centuries               
God would give man to repent; yet he can kill
As Cain could, but with multitudinous will,
No farther advanced than in his ancient furies.

Was man made stupid to see his own stupidity?
Is God by definition indifferent, beyond us all?                 
Is the eternal truth man's fighting soul
Wherein the Beast ravens in its own avidity?

Of Van Wettering I speak, and Averill,
Names on a list, whose faces I do not recall
But they are gone to early death, who late in school     
Distinguished the belt feed lever from the belt holding pawl.

Source of the text - Richard Eberhart, Burr Oaks.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1947, p. 61.

TJB: Surprise, a war poem on why wasn’t God watching. This one involves many –ent & –y rhymes, bomb-dactylics, & a smooth, famous final stanza.

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