Words Challenge, Day 3

Hello everyone! I’m back again today with another poem, this time from one of my favorite periods of history to study (although one of the saddest to relate): WWI. Perhaps favorite isn’t the right word–I want to give it the attention it deserves, as a paragraph of time that changed the history of the world. So without further ado…


I Have a Rendezvous with Death

Alan Seeger, 18881916

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows ‘twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear…
But I’ve a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

~ ~ ~

I love that poem. WWI poetry can be a bit hit or miss with me (usually more hit than miss, though). I don’t go in for the morbid, all-depressing poems like some people do, and I appreciate the uplifted tone Seeger uses to end this one. Death will come for everyone–and he admits that his will probably not be the death he wants–even that it will be a painful and grotesque–and yet he will not fail that rendezvous. Would I have that same courage? That same loyalty, that same dedication to friends or family or country? When I have given my word to do or say or fight, will I stay true? I hope so.

Thanks for reading,



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