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The Menin Road

anonimo
Lingua: Inglese


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[1917]
Una poesia-canzone attribuita ad un anonimo ufficiale medico inglese di stanza al pronto soccorso da campo sulla strada tra Menen (Menin, in francese) e Ypres, nelle Fiandre occidentali.
Pubblicata sul "Wipers Times" (poi "B.E.F. Times"), giornale di trincea del British Expeditionary Force edito tra il 1916 e la fine della guerra tra le fila del 12┬░ battaglione di fanteria The Sherwood Foresters.
Wipers era ovviamente la significativa storpiatura inglese per Ypres...

Wipers Times

Quello combattuto sulla strada di Menin tra il 20 ed il 25 settembre 1917 fu solo uno dei tanti scontri avvenuti durante la cosiddetta battaglia di Passchendaele (o terza battaglia di Ypres), nel corso della quale, tra il 31 luglio ed il 6 novembre 1917, persero la vita non meno di mezzo milione di soldati, 500.000 uomini.




There are many roads in Flanders, where the horses slide and fall,
There are roads of mud and gravel that lead nowhere at all,
There are roads that finish at our Trench; the Germans hold the rest,
But of all the roads in Flanders there is one I know the best.
It's a great road, a straight road, a road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

You can trace it from old Poperinghe, through Vlamertinghe and Wipers;
(It's a focus for Hun whiz-bangs and a paradise for snipers.)
Past the solid Ramparts and the muddy moat you're then in
The road I want to sing about---the road that leads to Menin.
It's a great road, a straight road, a road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

It's a road that's cursed by smokers for you dare not show a light;
It's a road that's shunned by daytime and is mainly used at night,
But at dusk the silent troops come up and limbers bring their loads
Of ammunition to the guns that guard the Saljent's roads.
It's a great road, a straight road, a road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

And for hours and days together I have listened to the sound
Of German shrapnel overhead while I was underground
In a damp and cheerless cellar continually trying
To dress the wounded warriors while comforting the dying.
On that muddy road, that bloody road, that road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 7/1/2018 - 22:31



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