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Killers

Carl Sandburg
Language: English


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[1916]

Dalla raccolta intitolata “Chicago Poems”.
Musica di Michael Hennagin (1936 –1993) compositore e docente universitario statunitense, dal ciclo intitolato “The Unknown”, musica per soprano, contralto, tenore e basso, pianoforte, flauto, trombe, percussione, proiettori slide e registratore elettronico (1968).


“Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come”, Carl Sandburg, 1936 (da “The People, Yes”).

“Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come”, Carl Sandburg, 1936 (da “The People, Yes”).



Una poesia ispirata a Sandburg dalla sua partecipazione alla guerra ispano-americana, esperienza giovanile che lo segnò profondamente. Una poesia, inoltre, in qualche modo profetica perché, pur essendo scritta intorno al 1916, bel prima del termine del primo conflitto mondiale e prima del coinvolgimento degli USA in esso, vi si parla di “sedici milioni di morti”, una cifra abbastanza vicina al bilancio finale di soldati morti e dispersi nel corso di quella terribile guerra (cui però devono essere aggiunti quasi 7 milioni di civili)…
I am singing to you
Soft as a man with a dead child speaks;
Hard as a man in handcuffs,
Held where he cannot move:

Under the sun
Are sixteen million men,
Chosen for shining teeth,
Sharp eyes, hard legs,
And a running of young warm blood in their wrists.

And a red juice runs on the green grass;
And a red juice soaks the dark soil.
And the sixteen million are killing… and killing
and killing.

I never forget them day or night:
They beat on my head for memory of them;
They pound on my heart and I cry back to them,
To their homes and women, dreams and games.

I wake in the night and smell the trenches,
And hear the low stir of sleepers in lines--
Sixteen million sleepers and pickets in the dark:
Some of them long sleepers for always,
Some of them tumbling to sleep to-morrow for always,
Fixed in the drag of the world's heartbreak,
Eating and drinking, toiling… on a long job of
killing.
Sixteen million men.

Contributed by Bartleby - 2010/12/28 - 11:43



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