Tag Archives: The War Prayer

Work in Progress

Well, a small section of a work in progress- the bit that can be caught on the scanner bed. 

I’m working on this painting for a politically-themed show. Originally sparked by Mark Twain’s brilliant short work The War Prayer, I found myself looking through a box of my grandfather’s World War I stuff for inspiration. Among a bleak report from the division sanitary inspector ( the unwrapped French bread was loved by American soldiers but always getting unloaded on the muddy ground) , a brief history of the operations of the 1st division, and a June 19, 1918 memo on the exorbitant price of French foodstuffs, I found a poem. 52 type-written lines organized in 3 stanzas are written about “The Other Bird,” the guy on the supply side who wishes he was fighting. The last half of the last stanza:

 

I crave to take these burning youths

By their soft and tender hands

And lead ’em to the scene of hell 

That’s bound by moral hands.

But it’s too late now and they’re going back

These boys from the S.O.S.

They’ll be our heroes from “Over there,”

And we’ll stay till we rot, I guess.