fire that scars And sears the blackberry night. And in Monkey, a complicated five-part poem, he writes: I like a little unaccustomed mercy. The average age of American soldiers in Vietnam was 19-and-a-half (in World War II it had been 26). It is as if time has finally allowed Weigl to accept the emotions buried in the subconscious and the implications of what he has done and been a part.
Ask them to write down the details they noticenot their interpretations, but what they actually see. There IS NO glory iawn! The men cower, cringing low The clench their necks, await the blow That erupts with such a smashing "crack That rings the ears and slams the back That bleeds the nose, that aches the head, That takes the breath, and kills them dead.
It is then you discover The beauty of profanity! Walk point, pull slack, trail, or the flank, Humping the boonies without track or tank. The thrill is gone! The American people turned their backs on the war long before it ended. Camp Oji, endless wards full of wounded men, Bedridden, wheelchair, crutches, a cane, and then, Therapy, dry dressings, scars both thick and thin, A leave to the States and return fit for duty again. Again, one finds the particular hallmark of the very best of the soldier-poets: scattered among the war-related poems are numerous excellent poems on other topics, suggesting an ability to transcend Vietnam.
Meadville - Warren, The History of American and Indian Wars,