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More poems by Randall JarrellRandall Jarrell | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Randall JarrellBooks by Randall Jarrell

Eighth Air Force

Randall Jarrell

If, in an odd angle of the hutment,
A puppy laps the water from a can
Of flowers, and the drunk sergeant shaving
Whistles O Paradiso!--shall I say that man
Is not as men have said: a wolf to man?

The other murderers troop in yawning;
Three of them play Pitch, one sleeps, and one
Lies counting missions, lies there sweating
Till even his heart beats: One; One; One.
O murderers! . . . Still, this is how it's done:

This is a war . . . But since these play, before they die,
Like puppies with their puppy; since, a man,
I did as these have done, but did not die--
I will content the people as I can
And give up these to them: Behold the man!

I have suffered, in a dream, because of him,
Many things; for this last saviour, man,
I have lied as I lie now.  But what is lying?
Men wash their hands, in blood, as best they can:
I find no fault in this just man.

Added: 2 Mar 2002 | Last Read: 21 Oct 2014 3:54 PM | Viewed: 13183 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/3042/ | Viewed on 21 October 2014.
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