Friday, October 17, 2014

Sonnet for the Vietnam Dead--By Robert A. Hall--United States

Sonnet for the Vietnam Dead

They were but boys, whose lives you threw away.
They went because the country asked them to,
And served a cause their leaders would betray—
Thank Christ they never saw that bitter day.

They lived in holes, and slept in soaking rain,
Grew thin, and sick, and weary through and through.
They knew each day the taste of fear and pain,
And never thought that sacrifice was vain.

And when the touch of death had come around,
To valiant lives forever shaming you,
For love of comrades and by honor bound,
They poured their blood like water on the ground.

And we who loved them, we cannot forget—
And won’t forgive—while breath is in us yet.

Robert A. Hall, a Marine Vietnam Veteran, served 5 terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He was an Association Executive from 1982 to 2013, retiring due to pulmonary fibrosis for a lung transplant 12/23/13. His 11 books, including two of poetry, Old Jarhead Poems and Share the Cup are here: Royalties go to charity. He does the Old Jarhead blog.


  1. Robert, I commend you on a sonnet of perfection, not only in subject matter, but also in maintaining correct Sonnet format and syllable count and down to the last couplet. Not just a political statement at all, but a moral one about how we sacrifice our youth in such a horrible game of chess which can only turn ugly in the reality. I am honored to read this! Sheri /

  2. Dear Robert,

    I am so glad to see you already have one wonderful comment on your sonnet. Welcome to Whispers! I hope you enjoy your time spent here. Best wishes with all your writing endeavors.


  3. Robert, welcome to Whispers. I really loved this poignant poem. My husband is a Vietnam Vet and although he never spilt his blood in foxholes, he did suffer PTSD and that has not gone away in all the years since he retired from the Air Force, having been in Air Rescue, three different years for a year at a time. War is a horrible thing for anyone to be in. None of us who have suffered through it will ever forget. Thank you for your service to our country and sharing your talent with us here on Whispers. Welcome and I know you will find this a welcoming, loving community of caring people.
    Sincerely, Charlene

  4. Touches some old chords... Beautifully done

  5. Very touching...Thank you for sharing !

  6. Robert,
    I admire your years of service, but probably would not have gone myself, unless I absolutely had to. Good poem.
    Your new friend,
    David Fox

  7. Thank you, Robert Defresne, for the following--

    Nitty gritty down to earth tell it like it is and was. Thank you for honoring and respecting their plight and double sacrifice. I salute you in admiration of this work of love.

    Bob D.

  8. Very moving, Robert. Simply nice. A very nice poem. Thank you for sharing and continued blessings!

    -MJ (