Champs d’Honneur

By Ernest M. Hemingway 1899–1961
Soldiers never do die well;
         Crosses mark the places—
Wooden crosses where they fell,
         Stuck above their faces.
Soldiers pitch and cough and twitch—
         All the world roars red and black;
Soldiers smother in a ditch,
         Choking through the whole attack.

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Poet Ernest M. Hemingway 1899–1961

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Subjects War & Conflict, Living, Social Commentaries, Death

Poetic Terms Ballad

 Ernest M. Hemingway

Biography

"The writer's job is to tell the truth," Ernest Hemingway once said. When he was having difficulty writing he reminded himself of this, as he explained in his memoirs, A Moveable Feast. "I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT War & Conflict, Living, Social Commentaries, Death

SCHOOL / PERIOD Modern

Poetic Terms Ballad

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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