Magazine | April 16, 2018, Issue

Poetry

( IDF via Flickr)

SOLDIERS’ SONG

Anonymous

“The Book of Odes” translated by Richard O’Connell

 

Yellow grasses in the ditch.

Day and night we march

In the fierce sun, under freezing stars.

The generals ride in cars.

 

Every field burnt black.

No sense looking back —

Home a million miles away.

Short rations and no pay.

 

Rhinos, tigers have it made.

Die clean compared to us.

Muck caked toe to face,

Eating dung and dust.

 

Long-tailed foxes hide in holes.

We march — the wounded groan

In the ox-carts dragged along

A million miles from home.

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