If Poetry Could Raise The Dead – Poem #60

GP Cox says:

“You have posted this poem before and I must say it bring tears! I repeat it at the cemetery each time I go, like today.”


G.P. Cox left the above comment and picture in the comment section of my blog on Memorial Day 2017.   I have posted this piece on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day each year since I wrote it in 2015 for the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Can any writer here coneeive of a greater honor than that comment?

I cannot.

This piece is by far the most popular of any poem I have written.  I do not expect to be remembered for anything I have ever penned but if I am I hope it will be for this, of which I am most proud. 

If Poetry Could Raise the Dead

If poetry could raise the dead
the earth would bleed where they had bled
to flow back into fallen soldiers
who would rise, young and filled with wonder

and they would laugh and smile again
the millions, shaking dirt from tousled hair
turning unmarked faces to the sun
looking round to hug their friends

as well as former foes; gathering
to share a coffee, a schnapps, a sake
wondering which poet wrote the lines
which brought them back to life.

And leaning against the stone
they would gather to go home
strong and virile cobbler, butcher, Kansas boy
as all the nations wept with joy on their return

and they would work, create
have children, celebrate,
watch football, cut grass, harvest
live, love and die in their own bed

for if my poem could raise the dead
your gentle Seiji, Hans, Yuri and Tom
would rise in triumph and come home
never to see war again.


Omaha Beach this morning.

About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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8 Responses to If Poetry Could Raise The Dead – Poem #60

  1. leggypeggy says:

    A beautiful poem and every reason for you to be most proud.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jfwknifton says:

    Yes, definitely something to be very proud of. Why don’t you send it off to be published in a veterans’ magazine? It’s easily good enough for a much wider audience.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. GP Cox says:

    Thank you, Toritto, for sharing your poem once again. What I said that day was as true then as it is today.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elizabeth says:

    The year before he died a 93 year old parishioner talked to us about the Normandy landing. He said he had made a good life, a good marriage, good kids, but he never stopped having nightmares and remembering the blood red ocean.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennie says:

    Wow! I can see why GP felt the way he did after reading your poem. Wonderful, Frank,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beetleypete says:

    GP rightly priases this poem, Frank.I have read it before, and yet it never fails to impress me with its poignancy and thoughtfulness.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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