On The Civil War On The East Coast Of The United States Of North America 1860-64

written by Alan Dugan

On The Civil War On The East Coast Of The United States Of North America 1860-64

— Alan Dugan

Because of the unaccountable spirit of the troops
oh we were marched as we were never marched before
and flanked them off from home. Stupid Meade
was after them, head on to tail, but we convinced
him, finally, to flank, flank, cut off their head.
He finally understood, the idiot, and got a fort
named after him, for wisdom. He probably thought
Lee would conquer Washington from Appomattox
if he, Meade, should march his infantry behind
him, Lee. Ah well, the unaccountable spirit of the troops
triumphed, Meade got his fort, Grant got his presidency,
Sherman got his motto, what was it? War is heck?, Lee got a military school
for the education of young Southern gentlemen, and the Union
Army was taken over by Southern noncommissioned officers
in the wars against the Indians to the west. I know all
about this, I know who won, I served under them
for three hundred and fifty years in World War II,
just long enough not to be called a rookie but a veteran,
and realized the rank and order of my enemies:
first, the West Point officers; second, the red-neck sergeants;
third, the Nazis and perhaps the Japanese. I won
all of these wars as a private soldier, for a while,
and am happy to have done so: without me
Hitler and Hirohito would he ruling the world
instead of America and Russia, but I still will not
drive through Georgia with New York license plates.

About the poet


Alan Dugan

Alan Dugan was an American poet. His poetry is known for its plain and direct language, though it is supported by technical skill; it is generally trenchant and ironic in its criticism of American life and received ideas, and in its frank sensuality alike. Dugan grew up in Jamaica, Queens in New York City and served in World War II, experiences which entered his poetry though he avoided simple autobiography or confession. He later lived in Truro on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, where he directed the Fine Arts Work Center and was a mentor and teacher to younger poets for decades. Dugan's work was published in successive numbered collections under the simple title Poems. Alan Dugan was married to the...

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