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Mortally Wounded and Sinking

Japan bombed Pearl, won by a crooked score.
Though U.S. fleet was famed, they left it sunk and maimed.
But cost to Japs and Germany was more. 

The Japs pretended peace instead of war.
With many subtle lies, they took us by surprise.
Japan bombed Pearl, won by a crooked score. 

Our sailors did not hear the distant roar
Till death was overhead, and bombs were in their bed.
But cost to Japs and Germany was more. 

The Arizona sank to harbor’s floor
Eight battleships were hit; war’s fire by them was lit.
Japan bombed Pearl, won by a crooked score. 

Two thousand U.S. (more!) went out death’s door.
Japan lost but a few of all the ones that flew.
Still, cost to Japs and Germany was more. 

True victors are the ones when war is o’er
Not at the rising sun when war has just begun.
Japan that day won by a crooked score,
But cost both them and Germany the war.

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© Dennis Allen Lange and thebardonthehill.wordpress.com, 2017.

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When I was small, a Woman died –
Today – her Only Boy
Went up from the Potomac –
His face all Victory 

To look at her – How slowly
The Seasons must have turned
Till Bullets clipt an Angle
And He passed quickly round – 

If pride shall be in Paradise –
Ourself cannot decide –
Of their imperial Conduct –
No person testified – 

But, proud in Apparition –
That Woman and her Boy
Pass back and forth, before my Brain
As even in the sky – 

I’m confident that Bravoes –
Perpetual break abroad
For Braveries, remote as this
In Scarlet Maryland –

 


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Dickinson wrote of a mother who had died previously and left an only son who died in a battle on the Potomac River (stanza 1). To her, it must have seemed a long time before the bullet took his life (stanza 2).  Dickinson debated (stanza 3) whether it was right to have pride (which is sometimes sinful) in Paradise.  But as she considered, back and forth, the ghosts (Apparitions) of the two, she concluded that such bravoes (even there) for bravery in bloody (scarlet) Maryland were justified (stanza 4). The link below gives the specifics of a battle at Balls Bluff on the Potomac in October, 1861, as the time and place the “only boy” died.

https://books.google.com/books?id=53x2cyrkm8oC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=scarlet+maryland+dickinson&source=bl&ots=vc5DhO3rMp&sig=ZaVvGauaxAIeo4FpM2jK5gttsog&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQ6tzG_KrKAhWGYyYKHRR5CsEQ6AEIKzAC#v=onepage&q=scarlet%20maryland%20dickinson&f=false

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