Archives for posts with tag: WWI

by Patrick T. Reardon

A jolly good reason to run the world.
A serious religion.
A curious leaden feeling.

If you only tried.

SOURCE: “A Terrible Tragedy” by Patrick T. Reardon (Chicago Tribune: July 9, 1999).

PHOTO: John Keegan by Jerry Bauer.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I cheated here. I used an interview I did in 1999 with the great military historian John Keegan, who died in 2012. I was a reporter for the Chicago Tribune then, and you can find the story I wrote here. I didn’t go back to my notes of that interview, but only used the quotes that are actually in the story. Taken by themselves, they made a pretty interesting commentary on war, but that was too literal for my taste, so I did a lot of carving. I liked blossoming the ideas out.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick T. Reardon‘s poetry has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Westigan Review and Rhino. His essays have run in the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, National Catholic Reporter, U.S. Catholic, and, in Ireland, in Reality magazine. He is the author of five books, including Catholic and Starting Out, and has contributed chapters to six others.  He is writing a history of the Chicago Loop and has lectured at the Chicago History Museum. For nearly thirty-three years, he was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune.  His website is

by Eleanor Farjeon

In the last letter that I had from France
You thanked me for the silver Easter egg
Which I had hidden in the box of apples
You like to munch beyond all other fruit.
You found the egg the Monday before Easter,
And said. ‘I will praise Easter Monday now –
It was such a lovely morning’. Then you spoke
Of the coming battle and said, ‘This is the eve.
‘Good-bye. And may I have a letter soon’.

That Easter Monday was a day for praise,
It was such a lovely morning. In our garden
We sowed our earliest seeds, and in the orchard
The apple-bud was ripe. It was the eve,
There are three letters that you will not get.

SOURCE: “Easter Monday” by Eleanor Farjeon appears in Scars Upon My Heart: Women’s Poetry and Verse of the First World War (Virago, 2006), available at

NOTE: Eleanor Farjeon wrote “Easter Monday” on April 9th 1917 in memory of her friend Edward Thomas, who died fighting as a soldier during the First World War.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eleanor Farjeon (1881–1965) was an English author of children’s stories and plays, poetry, biography, history, and satire. She won many literary awards and the Eleanor Farjeon Award for children’s literature is presented annually in her memory by the Children’s Book Circle, a society of publishers.