THE BEAUTY OF WAR
War at night
Has a special beauty,
There is nothing anywhere,
That can quite compare.
Perimeter flares slice/arc the black,
Then bob and slowly weave to earth
Causing shadows to dance and weave
And stretch your world's reality.
As streaming red fifties tattoo,
Clashing with sporadic VC green,
Harmonizes with 81mm quick-flashes.
Distant artillery white blinks
Splits the nearby tree line shadows,
As it cracking thunder
Streaks screaming through the sky.
High on his sky-throne
Spooky pisses his tracers in a gentle flow,
Moaned from multi barreled Gattling guns
That disappear and melt into the blackness below.
Nape at night is out of sight!
It splashes in yellowish, red syrupy splash,
That laboriously floats up, out then down
Smothering the earth and licking it clean.
Bombs are quick and ruthless,
Fast silver-white flashes in the black,
But cutting iron, not flash, kills,
And their mission is grim.
Rockets flash like zipping gangbusters,
Streaking a fiery sparkling tail
That skims into the black void to disappear,
Then resurrect again in detonation.
The sounds of war are different from others,
Not too unpleasant, but distinct,
The eternal crackle and chatter of radios,
Filling the air like white, background noise.
The sights and sounds of war at night,
Are unseen and impersonal,
Without authorship or responsibility,
Somehow removed, to be viewed from afar.
One unpleasant reality of war
Is the smell, the cordite burn,
The acrid sweet smell of sweet pork,
From burning, human meat.
Somehow that and the screams
Of the unseen dying somewhere
Out there, tends to diminish
The beauty and fun of it all."
by Curt Bennett
The poem The Beauty of War written by Curt Bennett is a poem about the beauty of war and how it is a sight to see. It was written while he was stationed in Vietnam.
Stanza 1: Explains how war is beautiful at night, and nothing can compare to it.
Stanza 2: The soldiers firing flares to see where the enemy is by their shadows.
Stanza 3: Talking about the bullets coming from the gun, and harmonizing with the other guns.
Stanza 4: talking about the gunman in the distance how the firing of the bullet makes a thunder cracking sound and a bright white flash, splitting trees as the bullet goes past.
Stanza 5: Uses imagery to make the reader visualize a plane in the sky making it rain bullets on the enemy.
Stanza 6: Talking about all the soldiers’ dead floating in their own blood, and how there’s that many died people on the ground that it covers the earth.
Stanza 7: The deadliness of bombs and how big the explosion and damage can be.
Stanza 8: The deadliness of rockets, having them leave a trail of fire then disappearing, then reappear when the detonate.
Stanza 9: The sound of is like no other sound you have heard before, with the constant bangs and crackle sounds in the background.
Stanza 10: The sights and sounds of war at night can only be experienced if your in the war, unless you have authority to view it from a different location.
Stanza 11: The only negative stanza of war in this poem, describing the smell of the died, burning human flesh.
Stanza 12: despite all the screaming, horror and watching people die, there is still a beauty to war.
The theme is the beauty of war, how great it is and it’s a sight to see. Using powerful imagery to really make the reader capture the beauty of war.
This poem was written by Curtis D Bennett, Former US pilot on active service in Vietnam, he served as a captain in the Marines during the war. He was a USMC Captain who flew over 250 missions in Vietnam.
Several poetic devises were used to give the poem more a exciting feel and understanding such as;
Hyperbole: e.g. “There is nothing anywhere,
That can quite compare.”
Metaphor: e.g. “Spooky pisses his tracers”
Alliteration: e.g. “Streaks screaming through the sky”
Imagery: e.g. “Streaking a fiery sparkling tail”,
“Fast silver-white flashes in the black”
Verbs: e.g. “dance”