Monday

Jul. 23, 2001

Boots

by Rudyard Kipling

MONDAY, 23 JULY 2001
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Poem: "Boots," by Rudyard Kipling.

Boots

We're foot—slog—slog—slog—sloggin' over Africa—
Foot—foot—foot—foot—sloggin' over Africa—
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up and down again!)
        There's no discharge in the war!

Seven—six—eleven—five—nine-an'-twenty mile to-day—
Four—eleven—seventeen—thirty-two the day before—
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up an' down again!);
        There's no discharge in war!

Don't—don't—don't—don't—look at what's in front of you.
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up an' down again);
Men—men—men—men—men—go mad with watchin' 'em,
        An' there's no discharge in the war!

Try—try—try—try—to think o' something different—
Oh—my—God—keep—me from goin' lunatic!

Count—count—count—count—the bullets in the bandolier
If—your—eyes—drop—they will get atop o' you!
(Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up and down again)
        There's no discharge in the war!

We—can—stick—out—'unger, thirst, an' weariness,
But—not—not—not—not the chronic sight of 'em—
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up an' down again,
        An' there's no discharge in the war!

'T'ain't—so—bad—by—day because o' company,
But night—brings—long—strings—o' forty thousand million
Boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up an' down again.
        There's no discharge in the war!

I—'ave—marched—six—weeks—in 'Ell an' certify
It—is—not—fire—devils, dark or anything,
But boots—boots—boots—boots—movin' up an' down again,
        An' there's no discharge in the war!

It's the birthday of novelist Lisa Alther, born Lisa Reed, in Kingsport, Tennessee, in 1944, author of Kinflicks in 1976, Five Minutes In Heaven in 1995, and other books.

It's the birthday of novelist John Nichols, born in Berkeley, California, in 1940, author of The Sterile Cuckoo in 1965, and his New Mexico Trilogy: The Milagro Beanfield War, in 1974, The Magic Journey in 1978, and The Nirvana Blues in 1981.

It's the birthday of novelist Raymond Chandler, born in Chicago in 1888. After he was fired from his job as vice president of an oil company for drinking and womanizing, he turned to writing. He wrote crime stories, and created the detective Philip Marlowe, the hero of all seven of his novels. His books include The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely, and The Long Goodbye.

It's the birthday of American merchant and art collector S. H. (Samuel Henry) Kress, born in Cherryville, Pennsylvania, in 1863. He was the founder of the Kresge chain of five-and-dime stores, and gave his collection of European art to the National Gallery in Washington, in 1939.

Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.®

 









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