Saturday, January 4, 2014

This Is Still Happening, Part Six, But There's an Upside, World War I Re-enactments and Poetry

The trench has now reached into the front yard, and in lieu of other treasure hunts, like yesterday's, or my going insane, I've decided to begin a World War I re-enactment. I will pit The Brothers as the Allies against The Husband as the Central Powers/Austria-Germany. I will be Wilhelmina Owen, the Poet, and stand at the front door shouting warnings about gas and the lie that is dying for one's country.***

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knocked-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

I will watch the three male species of The Family fight in vain to reorganize the World As We Know It and then fall with the 9 million other combatants in four miserable years. 

I, as Wilhelmina, unlike my brother Wilfred, The Brothers My Sons and The Husband, will escape the insanity by climbing into the Airstream that miraculously appears where the trench ends, still reciting poetry, The Mermaid swimming along right behind me.

Dulce et Decorum Est

***I've always gotten a kick out of those folks who do re-enactments -- they seem to take themselves so seriously. It's what I feel about people who watch a lot of pornography, too. I just start giggling and squirming and feeling like it's all so --- well --- silly. Anyway, the warnings about gas and the lie that is dying for one's country and the verses that I've quoted here are from the great World War I poet, Wilfred Owen. I've posted the entire poem here, if you want to read it, but don't if you're one of my patriotic, war-loving, ultimate sacrifice kind of readers. And dulce et decorum est means it is sweet and right and is taken from an ode by Horace.


  1. Only you could make poetry and quote poetry and make a statement and make whimsy AND draw universal truth about gender and humanity and suffering and freedom out of a goddam trench in your yard. You amaze me, Elizabeth. Constantly.

  2. Yes. Andrea said it perfectly.
    Sounds like you ladies need to leave the men behind to Reorganize The World As They Know It. Y'all have a good time, a SWEET time.

  3. Apologies for being concrete and not literary, but why the hell so much trench? We've had the roots-in-the-sewer-line leakage under the house before but the repair involved messing around under the house and drying out the muck.

    1. Jill, I want to laugh maniacally in response to your simple question. We had no leak, actually. The ENTIRE 94-year old main sewage line was backing up due to it being made of CLAY that tree roots had slowly destroyed over the last century. Instead of shooting a liner into it, which is what the traditional plumber bid to do, we chose to replace the entire pipe which involved digging it up. It was very, very deep, deeper than we had expected. Hence, the trench.

    2. I very unfortunate...

  4. May the men stay free of foot rot and the Airstream not return until the war is over and the battlefields are cleaned up and planted with wildflowers.

  5. I like how you think Elizabeth. Keep calm and Carry on:)

  6. That is a SERIOUS trench. Or maybe it's a canal. Suez? Panama?



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...