Friday, November 11, 2011

Armistice Day ~ Alan Seeger ~ Rendezvous

Although today's date, 11:11:11, has mystical connection for some people, I'm sticking with tradition. It is Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day and, in the USA Veterans Day). Traditionally today commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I. It took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.

The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I was over 35 million. There were over 15 million deaths and 20 million wounded ranking it among the deadliest conflicts in human history. The total number of deaths includes about 10 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians. Almost a whole generation of the young men of Britain and Europe were wiped out.

11th November 1919
The First Two Minute Silence in London
The first stroke of eleven produced a magical effect. The tram cars glided into stillness, motors ceased to cough and fume, and stopped dead, and the mighty-limbed dray horses hunched back upon their loads and stopped also, seeming to do it of their own volition. Someone took off his hat, and with a nervous hesitancy the rest of the men bowed their heads also. Here and there an old soldier could be detected slipping unconsciously into the posture of 'attention'. An elderly woman, not far away, wiped her eyes, and the man beside her looked white and stern. Everyone stood very still ... The hush deepened. It had spread over the whole city and become so pronounced as to impress one with a sense of audibility. It was a silence which was almost pain ... And the spirit of memory brooded over it all.
~~From the Manchester Guardian, 12th November 1919.

Alan Seeger, poet, was born in New York on 22 June 1888. He was killed, aged 28, on the fourth day of the Battle of the Somme, 4 July 1916, while serving in the French Foreign Legion. His brother Charles Seeger, a noted musicologist, was the father of the American folk singer, Pete Seeger.

Alan Seeger's natal Sun was at 1.37 Cancer, he died with Pluto (planet of darkness transformation and death)conjoining it at 3.04 Cancer.

I Have a Rendezvous with Death is one of Alan Seeger's poems, published posthumously. It is said to have been one of John F. Kennedy's favorites, and that he often asked his wife to recite it.

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air--
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath--
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear . . .
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.


James Higham said...

Lovely take on it. Good to see so many remembering.

Anonymous said...

GP: Evocation of the horrors of war (whichever) should lead anyone of a compassionate mind (including most of those following T's excellent blog) to ask why are there wars?

Astrology does not give any direct explanation, I found out while investigating Nostradamus and trying to gain some understanding in this respect.

However: Nostradamus (born 14. Dec. 1503) made some very precise predictions which clearly refer to WW I and II. Flying machines throwing bombs etc. etc.
Hitler (spelled Hister in N's prediction: was N even refering to Hitler as "hysterical???". That monster anyway is clearly pointed out with minute detail!

When WW I started (26. June 1914) Pluto was exactly opposite Sun in N's natal map - at 1 degr. Cancer/Cap. respectively.

When WW I ended, Pluto had progressed to N's Mercury exactly and Jupiter was exactly conjunct N's Saturn at 15,28 degr. Cancer!

If N. was famous (more some centuries after he had died than while alife) it must be because of this type of fore-knowledge he has shown, and there may be more to come. The famous "peril jaune" (yellow threat) has so far not manifested. So much for predictions. To why there are wars, N. gives no direct answer. Indirectly, if he predicted - and it happened as close as one could imagine some 400 years before the events, there rises a strong suspicion that it must all have been predestined, isn't it?

Twilight said...

James Higham ~~ Yes - it's important.

We're in E.Texas this wekend and this morning, were in a small antique store at about 11 o'clock.
A very elderly lady was tending the shop for her daughter.We chatted.
She told us she is 96! She can remember how, when she was a child people discussed World War 1 all the time.....she lived in New Jersey then. Lovely lady, very sweet, former nurse. I thought how coincidental that we should happen upon someone who was alive at the time we were remembering today.


Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~

Maybe predestined, GP....or maybe it's the reason for wars is our human makeup - Mars is pretty strong in many of our bloodlines.
Leads to much the same answer I guess, predestined in a different way.

As for the timing of these atrocities - Nostradamus and his predictions are a source of fascination - and sometimes a source of misunderstanding. But he did seem to get things nearer accurare than mere chance would allow.

Twilight said...

apologies for typing errors - am using laptop - not at home. ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

The magnitude of this war lingers on in our very bones. I think Susan Griffith (?)wrote of this so well, linking the horrors to our present day.
Lovely post on Seeger, I will tell my daughter.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~ It does, especially in those of us who remember the later atrocities of WW 2, and how WW1 didn't teach us much.

Yes, it's so significant that Alan Seeger's relative, Pete Seeger later took up the banner of peace.