Trench Quotes

Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Categories: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
He was just a small church parson when the war broke out, and he Looked and dressed and acted like all parsons that we see. He wore the cleric's broadcloth and he hooked his vest behind. But he had a man's religion and he had a stong man's mind. And he heard the call to duty, and he quit his church and went. And he bravely tramped right with 'em every- where the boys were sent. He put aside his broadcloth and he put the khaki on; Said he'd come to be a soldier and was going to live like one. Then he'd refereed the prize fights that the boys pulled off at night, And if no one else was handy he'd put on the gloves and fight. He wasn't there a fortnight ere he saw the sol- diers' needs, And he said: "I'm done with preaching; this is now the time for deeds." He learned the sound of shrapnel, he could tell the size of shell From the shriek it make above him, and he knew just where it fell. In the front line trench he laboured, and he knew the feel of mud, And he didn't run from danger and he wasn't scared of blood. He wrote letters for the wounded, and he cheered them with his jokes, And he never made a visit without passing round the smokes. Then one day a bullet got him, as he knelt be- side a lad Who was "going west" right speedy, and they both seemed mighty glad, 'Cause he held the boy's hand tighter, and he smiled and whispered low, "Now you needn't fear the journey; over there with you I'll go." And they both passed out together, arm in arm I think they went. He had kept his vow to follow everywhere the boys were sent.

Edgar A. Guest
A Puritan twist in our nature makes us think that anything good for us must be twice as good if it's hard to swallow. Learning Greek and Latin used to play the role of character builder, since they were considered to be as exhausting and unrewarding as digging a trench in the morning and filling it up in the afternoon. It was what made a man, or a woman - or more likely a robot - of you. Now math serves that purpose in many schools: your task is to try to follow rules that make sense, perhaps, to some higher beings; and in the end to accept your failure with humbled pride. As you limp off with your aching mind and bruised soul, you know that nothing in later life will ever be as difficult. What a perverse fate for one of our kind's greatest triumphs! Think how absurd it would be were music treated this way (for math and music are both excursions into sensuous structure): suffer through playing your scales, and when you're an adult you'll never have to listen to music again. And this is mathematics we're talking about, the language in which, Galileo said, the Book of the World is written. This is mathematics, which reaches down into our deepest intuitions and outward toward the nature of the universe - mathematics, which explains the atoms as well as the stars in their courses, and lets us see into the ways that rivers and arteries branch. For mathematics itself is the study of connections: how things ideally must and, in fact, do sort together - beyond, around, and within us. It doesn't just help us to balance our checkbooks; it leads us to see the balances hidden in the tumble of events, and the shapes of those quiet symmetries behind the random clatter of things. At the same time, we come to savor it, like music, wholly for itself. Applied or pure, mathematics gives whoever enjoys it a matchless self-confidence, along with a sense of partaking in truths that follow neither from persuasion nor faith but stand foursquare on their own. This is why it appeals to what we will come back to again and again: our architectural instinct - as deep in us as any of our urges.

Ellen Kaplan
puritan quotestwist quotesnature quotesmakes quotesgood quoteshard quotesswallow quoteslearning quotesgreek quoteslatin quotesplay quotesrole quotescharacter quotesbuilder quotesconsidered quotesexhausting quotesunrewarding quotesdigging quotestrench quotesmorning quotesfilling quotesafternoon quotesmade quotesman quoteswoman quotesrobot quotesmath quotesserves quotespurpose quotesschools quotestask quotesfollow quotesrules quotesmake quotessense quoteshigher quotesbeings quotesend quotesaccept quotesfailure quoteshumbled quotespride quoteslimp quotesaching quotesmind quotesbruised quotessoul quoteslife quotesdifficult quotesperverse quotesfate quoteskinds quotesgreatest quotestriumphs quotesabsurd quotesmusic quotestreated quotesexcursions quotessensuous quotesstructure quotessuffer quotesplaying quotesscales quotesadult quoteslisten quotesmathematics quotestalking quoteslanguage quotesgalileo quotesbook quotesworld quoteswritten quotesmathematics quotesreaches quotesdeepest quotesintuitions quotesoutward quotesuniverse quotesexplains quotesatoms quotesstars quotescourses quoteslets quotesways quotesrivers quotesarteries quotesbranch quotesstudy quotesconnections quotesthings quotesideally quotesfact quotessort quotesbalance quotescheckbooks quotesleads quotesbalances quoteshidden quotestumble quotesevents quotesshapes quotesquiet quotessymmetries quotesrandom quotesclatter quotesthings quotestime quotessavor quotesmusic quoteswholly quotesapplied quotespure quotesenjoys quotesmatchless quotesselfconfidence quotessense quotespartaking quotestruths quotespersuasion quotesfaith quotesstand quotesfoursquare quotesappeals quotesback quotesarchitectural quotesinstinct quotesdeep quotesurges quotes
Birds of the Western Front Your mess-tin cover's lost. Kestrels hover above the shelling. They don't turn a feather when hunting-ground explodes in yellow earth, flickering star-shells and flares from the Revelation of St John. You look away from artillery lobbing roar and suck and snap against one corner of a thicket to the partridge of the war zone making its nest in shattered clods. History floods into subsoil to be blown apart. You cling to the hard dry stars of observation. How you survive. They were all at it: Orchids of the Crimea nature notes from the trench leaving everything unsaid - hell's cauldron with souls pushed in, demons stoking flames beneath - for the pink-flecked wings of a chaffinch flashed like mediaeval glass. You replace gangrene and gas mask with a dream of alchemy: language of the birds translating human earth to abstract and divine. While machine-gun tracery gutted that stricken wood you watched the chaffinch flutter to and fro through splintered branches, breaking buds and never a green bough left. Hundreds lay in there wounded. If any, you say, spotted one bird they may have wondered why a thing with wings would stay in such a place. She must have, sure, had chicks she was too terrified to feed, too loyal to desert. Like roots clutching at air you stick to the lark singing fit to burst at dawn sounding insincere above the burning bush: plough-land latticed like folds of brain with shell-ravines where nothing stirs but black rats, jittery sentries and the lice sliding across your faces every night. Where every elixir's gone wrong you hold to what you know. A little nature study. A solitary magpie blue and white spearing a strand of willow. One for sorrow. One for Babylon, Ninevah and Northern France, for mice and desolation, the burgeoning barn-owl population and never a green bough left.

Ruth Padel
birds quoteswestern quotesfront quotesmesstin quotescovers quoteslost quoteskestrels quoteshover quotesshelling quotesturn quotesfeather quoteshuntingground quotesexplodes quotesyellow quotesearth quotesflickering quotesstarshells quotesflares quotesrevelation quotesst quotesjohn quotesartillery quoteslobbing quotesroar quotessuck quotessnap quotescorner quotesthicket quotespartridge quoteswar quoteszone quotesmaking quotesnest quotesshattered quotesclods quoteshistory quotesfloods quotessubsoil quotesblown quotescling quoteshard quotesdry quotesstars quotesobservation quotessurvive quotesorchids quotescrimea quotesnature quotesnotes quotestrench quotesleaving quotesunsaid quoteshells quotescauldron quotessouls quotespushed quotesdemons quotesstoking quotesflames quotesbeneath quotespinkflecked quoteswings quoteschaffinch quotesflashed quotesmediaeval quotesglass quotesreplace quotesgangrene quotesgas quotesmask quotesdream quotesalchemy quoteslanguage quotesbirds quotestranslating quoteshuman quotesearth quotesabstract quotesdivine quotesmachinegun quotestracery quotesgutted quotesstricken quoteswood quoteswatched quotesflutter quotesfro quotessplintered quotesbranches quotesbreaking quotesbuds quotesgreen quotesbough quotesleft quoteshundreds quoteslay quoteswounded quotesspotted quotesbird quoteswondered quotesthing quotesstay quotesplace quoteschicks quotesterrified quotesfeed quotesloyal quotesdesert quotesroots quotesclutching quotesair quotesstick quoteslark quotessinging quotesfit quotesburst quotesdawn quotessounding quotesinsincere quotesburning quotesbush quotesploughland quoteslatticed quotesfolds quotesbrain quotesshellravines quotesstirs quotesblack quotesrats quotesjittery quotessentries quoteslice quotessliding quotesfaces quotesnight quoteselixirs quoteswrong quoteshold quotesstudy quotessolitary quotesmagpie quotesblue quoteswhite quotesspearing quotesstrand quoteswillow quotessorrow quotesbabylon quotesninevah quotesnorthern quotesfrance quotesmice quotesdesolation quotesburgeoning quotesbarnowl quotespopulation quotes