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cigarette between his lips,
tar-induced lungs struggling to inflate –
a soldier
       (a man)
struggling to make sense
of a war
where men are only equal
when they're dead.
Day 20 of NaPoWriMo

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I have been watching way to much Band of Brothers and have become way to obsessed with learning about WW2....

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:iconnapowrimo:

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Daily Literature Deviation (December 1st, 2013): dailylitdeviations.deviantart.…
Suggested by ~goddess-of-ravens and featured by `thetaoofchaos
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Daily Deviation

Given 2013-12-03
Soldier by *imaginative-lioness ( Suggested by goddess-of-ravens and Featured by inknalcohol )
:iconilyilaice:
ilyilaice Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2014
That is lovely. Congrats on the DD!
Reply
:iconnotensmsk:
NotenSMSK Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Well there is much I wound have said but a lot of people have commented so I will say a good work and congratulations for the DD (old as it may be)!
Reply
:iconeternaltwist:
eternaltwist Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014
Lovely!:)
Reply
:iconricardo-orozco:
Ricardo-Orozco Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
where men are only equal when they're dead... wow so true and so heartfelt... that's a whole poem by itself :) soso good!
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much! :heart:
Reply
:iconbruiseviolet01:
BruiseViolet01 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2014
This is quite powerful... I love it.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much, hun! :heart:
Reply
:iconsaintofthedragons:
SaintOfTheDragons Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Last two lines.
Perfect.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you! :heart: :huggle:
Reply
:icontales-of-tao:
Tales-of-Tao Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Student General Artist
Wow. This is heavy stuff. :heart:
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you! :heart:
Reply
:icontales-of-tao:
Tales-of-Tao Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014  Student General Artist
You're certainly welcome, dear! :la:
Reply
:iconbluesoulgreenmind:
BlueSoulGreenMind Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2014
I didn't realize this got a DD. It is well deserved.A very impacting piece.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much! I'm glad that you think so! :heart:
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:iconwingdiamond:
WingDiamond Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2013
:icondeathplz::iconsaysplz: To Me ... All Men Are Created Equal - Equally Worthless!
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:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:heart:
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:iconabbymeyer:
AbbyMeyer Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
Brilliant and true. 
Reply
:iconsciencevsart:
sciencevsart Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Short and brutal.

Like an unfortunate soldier's many lives as he struggles to survive, not win.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much for reading and commenting - I really like your interpretation! :heart:
Reply
:iconsciencevsart:
sciencevsart Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Oh, thank you!
Have a hug: :iconyuihugplz:
Reply
:iconsimplysilent:
SimplySilent Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
:iconcuteicondivider2plz::iconcuteicondivider2plz: :iconcongratsddplz: :iconcuteicondivider2plz::iconcuteicondivider2plz:
:heart: Congrats on the Daily Deviation! :tighthug:  
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much, hun! :heart:
Reply
:iconcallme007:
callme007 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
:iconpinkbow4plz::iconpinkbow2plz::iconpinkbow3plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz:
:iconrainbowheartplz2::iconrainbowheartplz3::iconrainbowheartplz1::iconrainbowheartplz2::iconrainbowheartplz2::iconrainbowheartplz3::iconrainbowheartplz1::iconcongratsdd1plz::iconcongratsdd2plz::iconcongratsdd3plz::iconrainbowheartplz2::iconrainbowheartplz3::iconrainbowheartplz1::iconrainbowheartplz2::iconrainbowheartplz2::iconrainbowheartplz3::iconrainbowheartplz1:
:iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow1plz::iconpinkbow4plz::iconpinkbow2plz::iconpinkbow3plz:
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:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much! :heart:
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:iconcallme007:
callme007 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
:iconkissingplz::iconyourwelcomeplz::iconyourwelcomeplz2::iconyourwelcomeplz3::iconkissinguplz:
:iconclothesline01::iconclothesline02::iconclothesline03::iconclothesline04::iconclothesline05::iconclothesline06::iconclothesline07::iconclothesline08:
                         :iconclothesline09::iconclothesline10::iconclothesline11::iconclothesline12:
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:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Awwww, that's so cute! :heart:
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:iconcallme007:
callme007 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
^^
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:iconquebecoiswolf:
QuebecoisWolf Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
First off, congrats on the DD.

Love the first half - fantastic imagery!  The second half... I don't know.  It is very Band of Brothers and I can hear the theme in my head while reading it.  Maybe it's just that my military experience involved a staggering amount of boredom rather than contemplation.

It's a different world I guess.  Nowadays, other than the Stop-Loss mess circa 2003, deployments are a lot like being in prison and you're just counting down the days.  During WWII, GIs were more or less in for the duration of the war and casualty rates were much higher.  Barely an infantryman involved in the Africa landings in 1942 hadn't been either killed or severely wounded by 1945.  For the most part, GIs were not professional soldiers.  Many were conscripts and more than a few volunteered to avoid being conscripted.  Even a great number of willing volunteers didn't plan to stay in the military a day longer than necessary.  For the war itself, there was a lot more propaganda and a rather disconcerting number of GI training materials seem more about encouraging them not to be afraid rather than learning how to actually counter the threat.  I can't even imagine what it would be like to find this out the hard way.  This sadly, brings us to the hideously awful replacement system (showcased in Band of Brothers).  The modern US Military operates on the same system that the best units of the Waffen SS did.  They deployed units, fought them, and then brought them back to the rear for rebuilding.  What this mean was that the veterans were stuck with the new guys for at least a few weeks and like it or not, but they'd have to do training exercises together.  This encouraged veterans to teach what they knew and the Waffen SS was remarkable for building elite combat formations out of a mishmash of veterans, volunteers, conscripts, personnel from other branches, and Volksdeutsch foreigners.  The US military, however, assigned replacements and as we see in Band of Brothers, it meant that they were social outcasts ignored by the veterans, usually written off as soon to be dead, and had to be lucky enough to survive a few battles to be taken seriously.  It's a broken system that kills men almost as fast as it kills morale.  Again, it sounds absolutely horrifying to find yourself dumped into a unit and told repeatedly that you'll be dead soon anyway, so it's not worth learning your name or bothering to teach you anything.

And maybe somewhere in my rambling, I just might happen to find whatever point I'm trying to make...

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that WWII was a very different war for a very different soldier.  While I can't quite personally identify with being at war and trying to make sense of it, I think that a GI, wondering why his life has been put on hold, having no idea when the war will end, with comrades who don't care about him and tell him he'll be dead soon, and having just survived his first battle after losing what few friends he had from the Replacement Depot and now having what little he learned from training revealed as fraud, is trying to make sense of the whole mess.

I think it works great.

Whoops... sorry for the text wall.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
No, this was such a wonderful response. Thank-you so much for taking the time to write this, it means a lot and I appreciate it. I always found that aspect of Band of Brothers interesting, the reactions towards the replacements. The fact that there was this mentality that the veterans had concerning the replacements' names and not wanting to teach them amazed me, but in a way it makes sense. I wanted to capture the miniseries in this poem and hopefully I did. Thanks again for commenting. :heart:
Reply
:iconquebecoiswolf:
QuebecoisWolf Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2013
The Replacement system unfortunately continued through Korea and Vietnam until the late 70s when morale in the US military had become a crisis (1972 to 1979 is sometimes called the "Broken Army" period of American military history).  The US Marines were first to overhaul and other services followed suit in the 80s.  As a general rule, new troops are not assigned to units after they've deployed except in some special cases.

No problem!
Reply
:iconlostgryphin:
LostGryphin Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Congrats on the DD - I thought of Band of Brothers when I read this! So it was interesting to see that it is what inspired you!
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The fact that this made you think of Band of Brothers as you were reading this makes me so incredibly happy. Thank-you so much for reading and commenting! :heart:
Reply
:iconovertheact:
overtheact Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student General Artist
i know a lot of retired soldiers and this definitely reminds me of past conversations with them. 
totally relatable, simple, and straight-forward. great job and congrats on the DD!:D (Big Grin)  Hug 
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Wow, thank-you so much! This truly means a lot, hun! :heart:
Reply
:iconmiyuki404:
Miyuki404 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student General Artist
I love this poem, it can really tell something with this one message. Well done, and congradulations to the DD. :)
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much, hun! And I'm glad that you said that, it means the world that you think so. :heart:
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:iconmiyuki404:
Miyuki404 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Student General Artist
You're very welcome, and yes, it has to do with the world.
Reply
:iconshadowedacolyte:
ShadowedAcolyte Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
Short and punchy. Nice work.
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you very much! :heart:
Reply
:icontoixstory:
ToixStory Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Showed this to my cousin who's a veteran and he really liked it. Well-deserved DD. :)
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh, wow. I'm so glad! :D Thank-you so much! :heart:
Reply
:iconchromeantennae:
chromeantennae Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
YES, Maddi!!!! :iconultraglompplz: You SOOOOOOOO deserve this. :love: Congraulations, my friend! :tighthug: I'm smiling so widely now, I'm so thrilled for you. :love:
Reply
:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:love: Thank-you sooooooooo much, Ricky! :heart: You have honestly no idea how much I was smiling when I saw this, haha. :huggle: :tighthug: :hug:
Reply
:iconchromeantennae:
chromeantennae Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
My pleasure, Maddi! :heart:
Gah, I was so excited. :squee: :huggle: :hug: :tighthug:
Reply
:iconthreedayweekend:
threedayweekend Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013   Writer
This is not the image of a soldier, not the one you're talking about. I know because I am one. These people honestly do not care about "making sense" at all. Soldiers do not try to justify killing. Most, the overwhelming most, care about getting 'into the action' and about 'blowing @#$% up'. Maybe soldiers struggle after their careers, I wouldn't know. Also yes I'm talking about the infantry. 
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:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Thank-you so much for taking the time to comment. I definitely respect your opinion, as I am not a soldier. I don't know about war from experience or how somebody feels about it from experience either, simply because I have never experienced it. But I was talking to my great grandfather who was in WWII, years and years before I even began writing this poem, and whilst he doesn't talk about his experience in the war, he did say that he found himself questioning it. It wasn't to justify killing, it was just him trying to make sense of it.

Anyway, I hope I in no way offended you.
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:iconthreedayweekend:
threedayweekend Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013   Writer
oh no, no offense at all it was supposed to be more of a general remark. Nice work on the poem it's eye catching!
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:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Oh okay, well thank-you :) :heart:
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:iconlady-yume:
Lady-Yume Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013   Writer
Darling, so many congrats on a well-deserved DD! :heart: :clap:
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:iconimaginative-lioness:
imaginative-lioness Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
:tighthug: x100000000
Thank-you so very much hun! :heart:
Reply
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