May 8, 2015

Poetry Friday--V-E Day

This marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on the European front. It was known as V-E Day and was celebrated joyously.



The anniversary will be remembered in many ways. Great Britain has extensive plans for the day, which you can read about here.

Some of you may have visited my Kids of the Homefront Army project page. On the occasion of the today's re-celebration of V-E Day, I'm going to post one of the poems from the project.

Sarah Jane


V-E DAY

In my religion,
it is a sin to dance,
but I don’t think God
minded that today,
I joined a conga line
that wound its way
around town.
Today, May 8, 1945,
the war with Germany ended
with celebrations,
parades, hugs and kisses,
banging pots and pans,
horns tooting, confetti throwing,
dancing and praying.
All these ways
of thanking the Lord
that the boys in Europe
are coming home.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you, Lord.

© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

It must have been a bittersweet celebration, since the war still raged in the Pacific and would do so for three more months. World War II was very different from the wars we engage in now. Back then, individuals had a "we're all in this together" attitude. People were focused on the war and the efforts and sacrifices required of the country--shortages, scrap drives, bond drives, etc. Today war is kept separate from the people. They have many more things to distract them, and any sacrifices required seem to be placed mostly on the poor and disadvantaged.

I know I promised a review of last weekend's Massachusetts Poetry Festival. I'm postponing it until May 22. Next week, I'll be hosting the Round-Up. The host for today's Round-Up is my friend Michelle at Today's Little Ditty.

16 comments:

  1. I love the honest voice of this poem, Diane. It's a sad state of affairs when we pine for a good "honest" war. Nothing these days is what it seems. Nothing.

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    1. Truly, you've hit the nail on the head, "nothing these days is what it seems."

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    2. I agree. Sadly, I agree.

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  2. Hard to imagine what it really would have felt like celebrating on the streets exactly 70 years ago today, but you've brought it to life, Diane - thanks for sharing.

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  3. Have you read Connie Willis' books about WWII, Diane? I feel as though I've been at VE Day from reading them. Enjoyed your poem and its simple, heartfelt gratitude.

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    1. No I haven't but I'll order a few for the library. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  4. You're so right about how different wars are today. I remember my mother talking about how everyone wanted to do something to support the war effort. It was good hearing Sarah Jane's voice today.

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  5. Such a great post. Thanks and very well written.

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  6. Sarah Jane seemed to be talking directly to me--that's a powerful voice! And yet small and quiet. What is SJ's religion, I wonder? Is she British?

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    1. It takes place in Virginia (in my head) and Sarah Jane is a Baptist (in my head). :-)

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  7. It's like you step into someone else's head when you write these poems, and inhabit them so completely you can convey her innocence and quiet gratitude though she's surrounded by noise. Love it!

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    1. That's exactly what I've tried to do with each of the 100 homefront kids--get inside their head and share their experiences, both the same and different.

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  8. I wish I could get my mom to talk to me a little bit more about her experience of war from the home front. She still tears up about a good friend of hers who died on Omaha Beach. Seventy years later, she still feels the sting. I'm learning rather late in my life that grief never disappears completely, does it? And I agree with Sarah Jane - God didn't mind one little bet when people danced in the streets about their boys coming home safe and sound. Thanks for posting, Diane.

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