“The Order of Release” by Sir John Everett Millais‘Two Lives’ by Michael Charles Maibach The Society June 11, 2021 Beauty, Culture, Poetry 9 Comments . When soldiers die,They give two lives.The one they had, And one denied: The spouse not met,The child unknown,The life unsaved,The welcome home, The hill unclimbed,The beach unseen,The books unread,The field un-gleaned, The chance to seeTheir daughter-bride,To guide their sonOn his first ride, The friends not made,The Christmas trees,The job not done,Life’s victories, The end of warThat took his life,How homeland healedFrom bloody strife— So many parts Of his one chanceDenied to himBy battle’s lance. When soldiers marchTo defend their Rome, Pray nightly prayersThat they’ll come home. . . Michael Charles Maibach began writing poems at age nine. Since then he has continued writing poems, and sharing them with friends. His career has involved global business diplomacy. He is a native of Peoria, Illinois. Today Michael resides in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. More of his poems are found at www.MaibachPoems.us or on Facebook. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to email@example.com. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 9 Responses Ryan Watch June 11, 2021 Mr. Maibach, your poem accurately portrays the bleak and tragic fate of the brave soldiers who give their lives to defend their beloved country! The terse rhythm of the poem’s iambic diameter adds more expression to the unspoken words that many soldiers are unable to convey to their loved ones. What makes it even more heartbreaking is that many soldiers yearn for a normal life or some respite from battle, and you have managed to illustrate that desire through a dream sequence which is described in the following stanzas: The spouse not met, The child unknown, The life unsaved, The welcome home, The hill unclimbed, The beach unseen, The books unread, The field un-gleaned, The chance to see Their daughter-bride, To guide their son On his first ride, The friends not made, The Christmas trees, The job not done, Life’s victories, Your poem truly moved me Mr. Maibach, and I commend you for this bittersweet portrayal of a soldier’s life. Reply Susie Miller June 11, 2021 Thank you Michael Maibach for your heartfelt poem on a soldier’s death. Were there were, more patiotic thoughts as yours. Reply Ryan Watch June 11, 2021 Up north and south, There lie the dead. Upon their mouths Are words unsaid. Words that were meant To say goodbye. Words that were meant To calm the cries. If only they Could have again The chance to say The unspoken. God bless all the brave soldiers who give their lives to make ours better! Our prayers are with you! Reply Jan Darling June 12, 2021 Mr Maibach – your fractured images are very powerful. A sad reminder, also, of the fractured lives so many of our defenders suffer on their return. In Australia, right now, we are about to start the shockingly unfair trial of a decorated soldier who is being charged with murder! while on duty in Afghanistan. It is a national disgrace – but what else might you expect of military chiefs who are trying to impose the use of PRONOUNS that don’t offend the genderly confused! Thank you for your contribution to our humanity. Reply Paul Freeman June 12, 2021 Fantastic poem, Michael. I liked the way you left out the reasons for the war and how the soldier died, both of which would have detracted from the strength of the poem’s message – the individual with a life unnecessarily unlived (I hope this makes sense). I did have a couple of suggestions. The half-rhyme ‘unknown’ and ‘home’, and ‘lives’ and ‘denied’ work well. How about ‘unseen’ half-rhyming (if it technically does) with ‘unsown’. The other suggestion would be to change ‘defend’ to ‘save’. ‘Defend’ implies a soldier doing his or her job, whether they feel (or know) on the larger scale they’re defending a right or wrong cause, whereas ‘save’ also implies defending a threatened family and a threatened way of life, irrespective of the cause (again, I hope this comes across clearly). Occasionally I read a war poem that packs real punch. For me, this one, with its ‘what if’ future scenarios, does so in spades. Reply James Sale June 12, 2021 Terse and to the point, Michael; I enjoyed this very much. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 13, 2021 Thank you, Michael, for this heart-touching angle on the loss of soldiers to war. To give those too-soon-departed souls two lives; “The one they had,/And one denied” brings home the enormity of their sacrifice – a humbling reminder of all we should be grateful for. Reply David Whippman June 17, 2021 A terse, effective poem. So much potential never to be; so much sacrifice, much of it now all too often unappreciated. I was reminded especially of the wealth of poetic talent in WW1. How many gifted writers had their creative lives cut short? Reply Patricia Redfern June 18, 2021 David! Outstanding in its simplicity, yet truly wrenching to our hearts.So mamy lives denied in their prime. And, I’m many wars! Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 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