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He did not hold a mighty rank
his name is yet obscure.
But for us few who stood by him
the memory endures.

He did not falter, but stood strong;
nor gave in to his fear.
And others took their confidence
from knowing he was near.

He didn't fight for riches,
for glory, or for fame.
He swore to serve the nation,
and when they called, he came.

He did not choose the nature
of the war he went to fight.
He did his duty day-to-day,
tried to sort wrong from right.

He went as he was ordered,
and countered every threat.
He studied lessons of the past,
that we should not forget.

He made new friends at every step
And never lost the old.
He did not let his purpose turn
his heart and mind so cold.

He tried to be respectful,
though his mission might invade.
He never failed to answer for
mistakes that he had made.

A better friend I never knew,
the chance I think is slim.
But let me tell you why I'm here
today, instead of him.

That day was brilliant, dry and hot,
the distance, a mirage.
Our thirsty, tired foot patrol
was caught in their barrage.

Though bullets whined and crackled
and smoke filled up the air
he never hesitated,
he saw his purpose clear.

When someone fell, he filled their place.
and calmly took a knee.
And I felt near invincible,
to have him next to me.

Together we could turn the tide,
we'd not be overrun.
We'd hold the place and keep them back,
until our help should come.

He saw the shooter I could not
and knew there wasn't time.
He pushed me back and caught instead
the bullet that was mine.

For fear and rage we all fought on
and so the tide was turned.
But as the stillness was regained
an awful sadness burned.

There on the ground lay our good friend,
each one of us was chilled.
His eyes were clear, his face was calm,
his breath and heart were still.

Though we had won, with heavy hearts
we stopped and turned away,
and carried back respectfully
our brother's cold remains.

A Hero walked the field today
but left it in a bag.
They'll send him homeward in a box,
draped with our nation's flag.

My Hero didn't die
to set another country free.
He gave his life to save a friend.
He died protecting me.
Got the final lines in my head yesterday and just put it down.
Don't have much to say about it, except it's fictional. I imagine it being read aloud at the funeral.

Here's to the unsung heroes, and their sacrifice. :salute:

*KreepingSpawn

[15 May 2011] EDIT: I think I'm ready for some critique on this now. ;p

Feedback Questions:

:bulletblack: A eulogy like this is of course an incomplete portrayal of the individual. What is your impression of the warrior described here?

:bulletblack: What is your impression of the narrator?

:bulletblack: Are any passages awkward or unclear?

:bulletblack: Is the rhyme scheme effective or heavy-handed?
Add a Comment:
 
:iconaltruistic-trickster:
Here here. Well done.

I'm going to re-read this when I'm more awake. I like it though :)
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much. :)
Thnx 4 the :+fav:!
Reply
:iconunleashedheathen:
UnleashedHeathen Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're a poet! How awesome. Well written.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks much, mate! :iconusmcsaluteplz:
Reply
:iconunleashedheathen:
UnleashedHeathen Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Anytime.
Reply
:iconforeveryoursmarine:
ForeverYoursMarine Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
:tears::cries: So sooo SAD!!! :cries::tears:
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:cling:

Thanks 4 the :+fav:. :happycry:
Reply
:iconforeveryoursmarine:
ForeverYoursMarine Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2011
Aw :hug:

You're welcome!
Reply
:icondragonlover101040:
DRAGONLOVER101040 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I made my mother read this. She looked depressed afterwards. :D
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Awwwww. ;p
Thanks for sharing it. :)
Reply
:icondragonlover101040:
DRAGONLOVER101040 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Gladly. :D
Reply
:icondragonlover101040:
DRAGONLOVER101040 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Brothers in arms are brothers for life.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Oorah! :salute:
Reply
:icondragonlover101040:
DRAGONLOVER101040 Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:iconsaluteplz:
Reply
:icondragonlover101040:
DRAGONLOVER101040 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:icondragonweep: You mad me cry!
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
awww. :(

But that means I touched your heart. :)
Thanks so much for reading, and for the :+fav:! :salute:
Reply
:icondragonlover101040:
DRAGONLOVER101040 Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
No problema. :D
Reply
:iconsolarune:
Solarune Featured By Owner May 18, 2011   Writer
:iconthewrittenrevolution:
:bulletblack: I sensed that he's similar to how he's described here... except, perhaps, less heroic, I'm not sure, because the narrator's tone is almost worshipful so the narrator could be exaggerating. The warrior doesn't seem like he'd be the type of person to soak in compliments, rather, he'd brush them off. He would be human, with a talent for leadership and making others feel at ease.
:bulletblack: The narrator's character is partially obscured by the attention (he?) gives to the warrior. I get the sense that they were close friends, but also sort of detached from each other, in that the narrator saw the warrior as... a hero, and perhaps not an equal.
:bulletblack: There were a couple of places where the sentence structure seemed to be altered to suit the rhyme – like "he pushed me back and caught instead" – but I don't think those are particularly awkward, they seem fine in the context of the poem and its style.
:bulletblack: The rhyme is absolutely brilliant, it flows perfectly all the way through. There was only one verse where it sounded off to me:

He did not chose the nature
of the war he went to fight.
He did his duty day-to-day,
tried to sort wrong from right.


The way the rest of the poem reads makes me automatically want to put the stress on the second beat of each line (if that's wrong, my apologies and you can just ignore this!) – he DID not CHOOSE the NATURE / of the WAR he WENT to FIGHT. In that structure, I want to read the last line of that verse as "tried TO sort WRONG from RIGHT" but it sounds wrong with the stress on the "to". :/ (Not sure why that is, possibly because it's a preposition or a fairly insignificant word?) I can only read it like that or by reading "tried to" as a double beat - "tried-to sort WRONG from RIGHT". I think possibly you could edit that final line so it fits in better with the flow. Just my opinion, though. :)

Overall, a very powerful piece, and the flow & rhyme is brilliant. :)
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 18, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much for taking time to read and leave feedback! :)
:glomp:

I like your take on the narrator, very accurate I think, except that perhaps the hero's actions created the detachment in their friendship and caused the narrator to elevate his friend?

I appreciate the rhyhtm break-down. and yes, that stanza is particularly awkward. ;/ [i was hoping no one would notice! ;p] As I recall the original draft had something different in the second line, but I of course I can't find it, if I even saved that version. Phooey.

Thanks again! :D
Reply
:iconsolarune:
Solarune Featured By Owner May 19, 2011   Writer
You're very welcome! – and yes, that's probably true. I didn't think of it like that.
D: losing parts of writing is always so annoying, even if they don't appear in the final draft. I hope you find a solution to that part :)
Reply
:iconlatyredkaos:
LatyreDKaos Featured By Owner May 16, 2011
Definitely worthy of a favorite, and when such things happen it is pieces like these that help you to forget, if only for a while.

The man was noble, but quiet. He never worked for his own ambition or personal gain, instead to help the friends he ultimately died for.

The narrator was a man who is looking at the past in a favorable light. He was grateful, yes, but you almost feel the guilt he felt with the line "The bullet that was mine."

I like it on the whole for syntax and what not, but a) stanza 4, chose or choose? The later seems more appropriate but feel free to correct me if I am misreading it. b) stanza 6 does not quite flow right for me.

The rhyme scheme does not feel forced, and as a fellow poet who has doubs about rhyme, I fully understand where you are coming from.

Brava!
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much for taking time to read and for your thoughtful feedback. :)
I'm glad you caught that hint of guilt. That was deliberate.

re 'choose' - you're right! oops. ;p I'll fix that.

stanza 6 seems to be trouble for a few people. ;/ any suggestions there?

Thnx very much 4 the :+fav: :salute:
Reply
:iconlatyredkaos:
LatyreDKaos Featured By Owner May 16, 2011
You are quite welcome. As to stanza 6... Now, I'm no great paragon of the writing industry,but this would be my suggestion

"He made new friends at every step
And never lost the old.
He did not let his purpose turn
his heart and mind so cold."

Companions found at every step
Camaraderie in action
His task was hard, his purpose cold
His heart lacked corruption

Forgive me if my verbage is excessively flowery.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
It is a bit much. ;)
But I appreciate the effort. Thank you! :)
Reply
:iconsunnyblueday:
SunnyBlueDay Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome job! I love it!

As for critiquing- I see this man as a very brave, noble, moral guy- he may not be the most physically imposing, but he's got his priorities straight and his heart in the right place.

The narrator is a very grateful, even composed sort of person.

I thought the passages all flowed nicely and all made sense.

I love the rhyme scheme- very lyrical and flowing, it has an awesome beat to it. :heart:
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much. :)
I'm glad you like it and you think it's effective as is.

Thnx much 4 the :+fav:! :iconusmcsaluteplz:
Reply
:iconsunnyblueday:
SunnyBlueDay Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
so welcome!

I loved it!
Reply
:iconelainerose:
ElaineRose Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Student Writer
This is an absolutely beautiful piece.

:bulletblack: I have only the impressions that were given to me: he was an honorable man, he might not have always said exactly the right thing, but he always did the right thing.
:bulletblack: The narrator focuses on his friend rather than himself. He is humbled not only by his friend's sacrifice, but also by his mere memory.
:bulletblack: Stanza six:
He made new friends at every step
And never lost the old.
He did not let his purpose turn
his heart and mind so cold.

Perhaps "turn" would do better starting the next line?
:bulletblack: I believe your rhyme scheme is iambic pentameter or something like that. In the stanza:
He went as he was ordered,
and countered every threat.
He studied lessons of the past,
that we should not forget.

"[O]f the past" seems not quite right, perhaps because "of" does not supply the needed stress. Perhaps "from"? I do not claim to be a master-poet, so anything I say is probably subjective.
Also the stanza:
He made new friends at every step
And never lost the old.
He did not let his purpose turn
his heart and mind so cold.

The second half seems the tiniest bit forced to me. I unfortunately don't know how exactly to advise you to perhaps change it for the better.

As a whole, the soul of this poem is beautiful. It's wonderful and honorable, and you did an amazing and difficult job in writing it.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much for the in-depth critique. ;)

So... stanza 6 seems to be a problem area. ;p I prefer the rhythm created keeping 'turn' where it is.
I think 'did not' is what makes it feel forced. But... can't use 'never' because I just used it... ;/


This was tough concept to put down concisely - that soldiers often instinctively try to protect themselves emotionally by shutting out the 'enemy' civilians they may encounter, and this individual consciously did the opposite.

I'm going to keep 'of the past.' It might soften the pentameter, but I think not to the point of making it ineffective. And 'from the past' feels contrived to me. But I appreciate the input. :)

Thanks again!
And thanks very much 4 the :+fav: :iconusmcsaluteplz:
Reply
:iconelainerose:
ElaineRose Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Student Writer
I never claimed to be an expert. I'm sure you made the best decisions for your poem. =)
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
i hope so! ;p
Reply
:iconashyboi:
Ashyboi Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is beautiful, man... wow.
So touching, amazingly worded - you have quite a gift.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much, bro. :)

thnx 4 the :+fav: :salute:
Reply
:iconashyboi:
Ashyboi Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
but of course. :3
Reply
:iconevilgriffeon:
evilgriffeon Featured By Owner May 13, 2011
I love this.
ballads are one of the best ways of telling a story
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much. I must agree. :)
Hey, there's a thought. I wonder if anyone might set this to music. I fear it would end up being some sappy country song tho. ;p

thnx much 4 the :+fav: :salute:
Reply
:iconevilgriffeon:
evilgriffeon Featured By Owner May 14, 2011
It probably would.

I'd try, and if I did it wouldn't be country...
but it would be fairly rubbish.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner May 14, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
hey, you never know. ;p
Reply
:iconevilgriffeon:
evilgriffeon Featured By Owner May 15, 2011
no. you never do.
Reply
:iconzoe-che:
Zoe-che Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
your writing always amazes me.
this was so beautiful and sad... very moving.

hope you never have to witness this being read at a funeral in person; or even what it's about for that matter... be it breathing or not.
sigh, silly remark to say huh... ^^;;
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:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
not silly. i very much appreciate the sentiment. :)

Thank you for the :+fav:
Reply
:iconleyghan:
leyghan Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
This is powerfully moving (yup definitely choking up a little) has great rhythm and flow and the rhyming is on point.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks very much. ♥
And thanks for the :+fav: :)
Reply
:iconnotanseladams:
NotAnselAdams Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You keep writing this awfully poignant stuff for someone who's not actually (yet!) served himself ... it's really impressive.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
:confused: um... can I claim past life experience? ;p

I start to wonder if actively serving will make it better, or worse.

Thanks for having a look. :)
Reply
:iconaetheriumdreams:
AetheriumDreams Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This made me cry.

Reminds me of what a Vietnam vet told me a year ago. Heroes don't die for their country or for someone else's country. They die for the guys in the trench next to them. The best kind of love there is.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Amen.
:salute:

Thank you.
Reply
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