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I saw a Man This Morning Who Did Not Wish to Die - With Guest Sean Doherty

January 15, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

My friend Sean Doherty and I discuss the famous WWI poem "I saw a man this morning" by Patrick Shaw Stewart.

 

Hopefully no one listening to this podcast, including the men reading it, will ever have to go to war. Yet, it is an activity that is apart of us. It was once believed that war was necessary to bring out our deepest virtues.

 

Sean is a man of peace. He wrote a peace poem campaign and sent it to every US Senator in the hopes of spreading the message that war is not the answer. Our discussion is challenging and deep as we converse with this verse. We ask questions like when is war necessary? Should we be in the Middle East? What are the justifications of war? And, once there, what do we do?

 

“I saw a man this morning”

BY PATRICK SHAW-STEWART

I saw a man this morning

     Who did not wish to die

I ask, and cannot answer,

     If otherwise wish I.

 

Fair broke the day this morning

     Against the Dardanelles;

The breeze blew soft, the morn's cheeks

     Were cold as cold sea-shells.

 

But other shells are waiting

     Across the Aegean sea,

Shrapnel and high explosive,

     Shells and hells for me.

 

O hell of ships and cities,

     Hell of men like me,

Fatal second Helen,

     Why must I follow thee?

 

Achilles came to Troyland

     And I to Chersonese:

He turned from wrath to battle,

     And I from three days' peace.

 

Was it so hard, Achilles,

     So very hard to die?

Thou knewest and I know not—

     So much the happier I.

 

I will go back this morning

     From Imbros over the sea;

Stand in the trench, Achilles,

     Flame-capped, and shout for me.

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