commodorified: Alexander wearing his imperial cobwebs and breastplate of shining worms wakes and looks for his glasses (history)
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[livejournal.com profile] papersky reminded me of this poem by Auden, who is seeming far too uncomfortably timely right now:


Here War Is Simple by W H Auden

Here war is simple like a monument:
A telephone is speaking to a man;
Flags on a map assert that troops were sent;
A boy brings milk in bowls. There is a plan

For living men in terror of their lives,
Who thirst at nine who were to thirst at noon,
And can be lost and are, and miss their wives,
And, unlike an idea, can die too soon.

But ideas can be true although men die,
And we can watch a thousand faces
Made active by one lie:

And maps can really point to places
Where life is evil now:
Nanking. Dachau.

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