WWI Poets Challenge

Greater Love

1. notes

1) Greater Love

Red lips are not so red
    As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
    When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

Your slender attitude
    Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,
Rolling and rolling there
Where God seems not to care;
Till the fierce Love they bear
    Cramps them in death's extreme decrepitude.

Your voice sings not so soft, --
    Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft, --
Your dear voice is not dear,
Gentle, and evening clear,
As theirs whom none now hear
    Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.

Heart, you were never hot,
    Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;
And though your hand be pale,
Paler are all which trail
Your cross through flame and hail:
    Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.

Wilfred Owen, 1893-1918

This poem is interesting and problematic, as evidenced by this article: Greater Love: Wilfred Owen, Keats, and a Tradition of Desire. Owen was himself homosexual, and for him poetry was a highly figurative way for him to justify his own dangerous emotions.

I don't want to slash Theodred, but I do want to address what would keep him from marriage even though he was well beyond the usual age for it among his people. (His father was married before he was 30; Theodred died at about 40 with no wife or heir on record.)
This is not going to be the initial obvious presupposition, however. No. I intend to be more faithful to the poem than the poet possibly was himself.

2) "The Green Fields of France"
But here in this graveyard that is still No Man's land
the countless white crosses in mute witness stand.
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man
to a whole generation that was butchered and damned.

Elfwine was raised in a peacetime Rohan. I wondered what the living king's son would think of the dead king's son's last moments. Would he find it meaningful?

3) "Roll With It"

what if the enemy
isn't in a distant land
what if the enemy lies behind
the voice of command
the sound of war
is a child's cry
behind tinted windows,
they just drive by
all I know is that those
who are going to be killed
aren't those who preside
on capitol hill
I told him,
don't fill the front lines
of their war
those assholes aren't worth dying for
but he said
roll with it, baby
make it your career
keep the home fires burning
till america is in the clear

I am tired of glorifying war, however. Most of the most poignant WWI poets concluded that it was not worth the sacrifice.
I think a large part of Tolkien's fantasy is a struggle that is worth fighting. There is a side who is in the right, in his stories. Which is refreshing to contemplate, as like him I watch friends and family departing for a war I cannot overcome my cynicism to muster support for.

The closest I can come in the Ardaverse is a woman of Rhun coming to terms with the fact that her husband died for less than a noble cause.

This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.


In Challenges

Story Information

Author: dragonlady7

Status: Beta

Completion: Work in Progress

Rating: Adult

Last Updated: 05/03/04

Original Post: 04/28/04

Back to challenge: WWI Poets Challenge

Go to story: Greater Love

Keyword Search

Search for key terms in Challenge, Nuzgûl & Oliphaunt titles and descriptions.

Results are ordered alphabetically by title.