Recently, I have discovered the writings of Walt Whitman. He served as an medic during the Civil War. Many of his poems deal with war, and the tragedy that comes from waging warfare. A march in the ranks is one such poem. The words that he used to describe the scene is almost too much for me to bear. He puts you in the room. Last night as I read the poem, my mind was flooded from scenes of my own past.
However, his works adequately portrays the horrible nature of war. I have long searched for words to put my own experiences into my own writing. Trust me, I know I am no Walt Whitman. The emotional turmoil that rages in my own heart has found solace in his writings. His words has eased the pain of my own memories, and his humor is sometimes akin to my own. It is due to a special lady that I have discovered Whitman’s poetry. I am forever grateful to her for introducing me to it.
The truly beautiful thing about Whitman’s poems is that it was not tainted by the tragedy of war. His keen eyes always found the beauty, even when he was surrounded by the horrific nature of war. His poetry shows that while war is a vile machination of human greed, life goes on. Even when the world has fallen into complete shambles around you, day to day life continues. I can remember going out on patrol, and watching as Iraqis would search through the rumble for clothes to wear, food to eat, and possessions that they hoped to reclaim. Children would go to school. Their entire life was upended, but they continued to live.
I suppose that is the greatest lesson of war. When everything is burning, keep moving. Don’t stop believing (thanks Journey) and take it one step at a time. As the Bible would state, “the race is not to the swift, but to he that endures until the end.”
You guys take care and I will catch you later.