Ernest Hemingway

(21 July 1899 - 2 July 1961 / Oak Park, Illinois)

Killed Paive--July 8--1918 - Poem by Ernest Hemingway

Desire and
All the sweet pulsing aches
And gentle hurtings
That were you,
Are gone into the sullen dark.
Now in the night you come unsmiling
To lie with me
A dull, cold, rigid bayonet
On my hot-swollen, throbbing soul.


Comments about Killed Paive--July 8--1918 by Ernest Hemingway

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (2/28/2016 11:59:00 AM)

    Killed Paive - July 8- 1918

    Desire and
    All the sweet pulsing aches
    And gentle hurtings
    That were you,
    Are gone into the sullen dark.
    Now in the night you come unsmiling
    To lie with me
    A dull, cold, rigid bayonet
    On my hot-swollen, throbbing soul.

    - - In ITALIAN:

    Ucciso il Piave - 8 luglio 1918

    Il desiderio e
    Tutti quegli amabili indolenzimenti pulsanti
    E la dolenzia delicata
    Che tu rappresentavi,
    Si sono persi nella cupa oscurità.
    Ora, di notte, senza un sorriso
    Giaci con me:
    Una smorta, fredda e rigida baionetta
    Sull'anima mia ardente, turgida, palpitante.. (Report) Reply

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (2/28/2016 11:54:00 AM)

    A Farewell to Arms (1929) , Hemingway's great novel set against the background of the war in Italy, eclipses the poetry dealing with his war-time experiences.

    Before America entered the war Hemingway volunteered and served in the ambulance corps in France; he was transferred to the Piave region (the Piave is a river in the North-East of Italy) in July,1918, and shortly after, on July 8, was wounded in a mortar attack.

    This poem apparently looks back to that day.

    Exactly who or what was killed on that day is difficult to tell, but the erotic (perhaps even homoerotic) imagery of the dull, cold, rigid bayonet and his hot-swollen, throbbing soul are intriguing.

    But aside from these ambiguities, we do know something of the circumstances surrounding his injuries. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (2/28/2016 11:47:00 AM)

    Hemingway was among the first soldiers to return from the Italian front.

    - - - - - His arrival was reported in the New York Sun on January 22,1919: - - - - - - - -

    The first wounded American from the Italian front arrived yesterday by the steamship Giuseppe Verdi of the Transatlantica Line with probably more scars than any other man in or out of uniform, who defied the shrapnel of the Central Powers.

    The surgical chart of his battered person shows 227 marks indicating where bits of a peculiar kind of Austrian shrapnel, about as thick as a.22 caliber bullet and an inch long, like small cuts from a length of wire, smote him. Some of these bits have been extracted after a dozen or more operations and young Hemingway hopes finally to get them all out, but he still retains a hundred or more.

    Hemingway joined the Red Cross in France and was transferred to the Italian front last July. He was distributing cigarettes in the Piave district in the front line trenches when a shell from a trench mortar burst over his head. He said the slugs from the shell felt like the stings of wasps as they bore into him. He crumpled up and two Italian stretcher bearers started over the parapet with him, knowing that he needed swift attention. Austrian machine gunners spotted the party and before they could get over he and the stretcher bearers went down under a storm of machine gun bullets, one of which got Hemingway in the shoulder and another in the right leg. Two other stretcher men took the tall American through the communication trenches to the rear, where he received first aid. (Report) Reply

  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (2/28/2016 11:45:00 AM)

    ..
    His friend Ted Brumback visited Hemingway in the Milan hospital and wrote this to Hemingway's parents:

    The concussion of the explosion knocked him unconscious and buried him in earth. There was an Italian between Ernest and the shell. He was killed instantly, while another, standing a few feet away, had both his legs blown off. A third Italian was badly wounded and this one Ernest, after he had regained consciousness, picked up on his back and carried to the first aid dugout. He says he did not remember how he got there, nor that he carried the man, until the next day, when an Italian officer told him all about it and said that it had been voted to give him a valor medal for the act.

    ________

    His actions on July 8 did win him a decoration, the 'Croce di Guerra', from a grateful Italian government. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010



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