Vir Triumphalis (1944)

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FranktheFrank
Posts: 1430
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Vir Triumphalis (1944)

#1 Post by FranktheFrank » 15 May 2019, 09:57

Marshal Zhukov, in the van, straddles
a slow clomping horse. The documentary
dubbed with martial music incongruous

with the demeanour of the doomed. A child asks
‘Who are these gentlemen and why do they look
so miserable like us?’ A repast of greasy cabbage

soup further stresses those already suffering
from dysentery. A phalanx of generals follow
in grey wolf uniforms, alive, but the future

promises nothing but adversity. The route lined
with the very Muscivites they tried to annihilate.
Thin housewives and barefoot children stare,

restrained, but fascinated at a broken enemy
with so few guards. There is little evidence
of hatred, no jeering, nor cheering just pity,

there is a limit to their pity however;
they remember the bombings, hunger pangs
in their children’s faces, the lists of the dead,

the constant stream of ambulances racing
from the front, a mood of sombreness settles
on the crowd. Wehrmacht soldaten

in ragged uniforms with unkempt beards clank
by with improvised mess cans ready at the hip
for any hand-outs. Despair worn like a limp flag

progresses through Ivan's capital in blocks of five
thousand, pass buildings, towering office
blocks with balconies flowering office workers.

A woman turns to gaze at a commissar, her dress
flows out in the breeze, wafts a fragrance wasted
on the prisoners, their situation demands

total obedience to the law of survival, one lapse . . .
A Russian officer fills the frame, in a pristine
uniform, and a chest with campaign medals,

shoulders heavy with gilded braid. A mother
cradles her blond haired son, cups her hand
around his head to protect him from the sight

of these broken men, fine looking men, noble even
on another day, ushered like cattle. Crowds follow
the cavalcade reluctant to release their eyes.

This augers the final landler of National Socialism,
the lies of the Führer unfurl as empty as when first
uttered, the mania of the beast shown in futility.

The sordid end is near, the crowds linger in the squares
as the last detachment marches to the railway, loaded into
wagons, the doors slam shut then shunted of into oblivion.

Water tankers clean the street of excreta, a show of distain.
Where is magnanimity, it is as absent as a king's
joy at the news of the pyrrhic victory at Heraclea.

******

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjGfKj2lx8M

BobBradshaw
Posts: 1125
Joined: 03 Jun 2016, 21:03

Re: Vir Triumphalis - March of the Defeated – Moscow (1944)

#2 Post by BobBradshaw » 16 May 2019, 00:28

One of your best.... the restraint of the N’s voice works well. The documentary feel is captured beautifully.... the rhythm of this piece professional.

Terrific

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1430
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Vir Triumphalis - March of the Defeated (1944)

#3 Post by FranktheFrank » 16 May 2019, 13:06

Thanks Bob, very encouraging for me as I had doubts
about this, whether a documentary was acceptable
as an ekphrastic. I wrote the poem after being struck
with the pathos of what happened that day, what struck
me most was the incongruity of the normality in that great
city and the demeanour of the prisoners. Not that we should
show pity to National Socialist Workers Party Members (NAZI'S),
the Russians had little food to share with their prisoners
but I took a contra view in how they were treated.

Having said all that I knowat times the Western Powers treated
defeated prisoners harshly and lacked magnanimity.

Michael (MV)
Posts: 1477
Joined: 18 Apr 2005, 04:57

Re: Vir Triumphalis - March of the Defeated (1944)

#4 Post by Michael (MV) » 16 May 2019, 22:40

 
Hi Frank,
 
Allow me to echo Bob's observations & praise.

On the short-list for the upcoming June IBPC.

And allow me to bring to your attention that it seems to me(it reads to me) that the pronoun to "lies," "they," is missing:

This is the last waltz of the National Socialism, the lies
of their Führer unfurl as empty as when they were first
uttered, the mania of the beast now shown in futility.


And here is another construction that is also possible:

This is the last waltz of the National Socialism, the lies
of their Führer unfurl as empty as when first
uttered, the mania of the beast now shown in futility.

^^ Also, "Führer" for "Fuhrer"


8)

Michael (MV)

 
 
 
 
 
 

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1430
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Vir Triumphalis - March of the Defeated (1944)

#5 Post by FranktheFrank » 16 May 2019, 22:48

Thanks Michael, I think you were reading version 1,
I had already changed Fuhrer to Führer in V2.
I have double checked and I think I have dotted all the 'i's' as you
recommend, please let me know if I have still missed something.

Thanks for the Nom, I accept of course
and am very pleased.

FranktheFrank
Posts: 1430
Joined: 02 Mar 2016, 18:07
Location: Between the mountains and the sea

Re: Vir Triumphalis (1944)

#6 Post by FranktheFrank » 23 May 2019, 11:54

I think this is nearing final completion now.
I can't see much else to add/delete/edit.

Landler, a sombre Bavarian folk dance
replaces the waltz, seems more fitting.

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