Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MEMOIR, by CARL SANDBURG



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MEMOIR, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Papa joffre, the shoulders of him wide as the land of france
Last Line: A lift of white sun on a stony beach.
Subject(s): Joffre, Joseph Jacques (1852-1931); World War I; First World War


PAPA JOFFRE, the shoulders of him wide as the land of France.

We look on the shoulders filling the stage of the Chicago Auditorium.

A fat mayor has spoken much English and the mud of his speech is
crossed with quicksilver hisses elusive and rapid from floor and
gallery.

A neat governor speaks English and the listeners ring chimes to his
clear thoughts.

Joffre speaks a few words in French; this is a voice of the long
firing line that runs from the salt sea dunes of Flanders to the white
spear crags of the Swiss mountains.

This is the man on whose yes and no has hung the death of battalions
and brigades; this man speaks of the tricolor of his country now
melted in a great resolve with the starred bunting of Lincoln and
Washington.

This is the hero of the Marne, massive, irreckonable; he lets tears
roll down his cheek; they trickle a wet salt off his chin onto the
blue coat.

There is a play of American hands and voices equal to sea-breakers and
a lift of white sun on a stony beach.






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