The Man Who Saws Us in Half: Poems (Southern Messenger Poets)

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The highly respected and award winning poet, Ron Houchin, will be reading on Tuesday at noon, July 17th in conjunction with the ongoing Lunch with Books program An astounding writer and teacher, Ron Houchin has published three major collections and won four poetry contests in just the past two years. As a special bonus, the distinguished author and poet, A. Stringer, will be joining Mr. Houchin on stage to read a few of his own poems.

Ron Houchin is a retired teacher who taught thirty years in a public school in Ohio's Appalachian region. He has eight major poetry collections published, as well as a novella and a collection of short stories. His work has been nominated for Pushcart and Paterson Prizes. Several of his other titles have been published by Salmon Publishing, the distinguished Irish publisher based in County Clare.

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He has been awarded an Ohio Arts Council Grant for teachers of the arts, a tutorial fellowship to teach a writing workshop in Dublin, and a poetry prize from Indiana University. Launched in September , the Wheeling Poetry Series, hosted by West Virginia poet laureate Marc Harshman, features readings by some of the finest poets from our Appalachian region and beyond.

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The Man Who Saws Us in Half: Poems (Southern Messenger Poets)

Web site by TSG. Last Name:. I ascend to the fore-truck, I take my place late at night in the crow's-nest, we sail through the arctic sea, it is plenty light enough,. Through the clear atmosphere I stretch around on the wonderful beauty,. The enormous masses of ice pass me and I pass them, the scenery is plain in all direc- tions,.

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The white-topped mountains show in the dis- tance, I fling out my fancies toward them,. We are approaching some great battle-field in which we are soon to be engaged,. We pass the colossal out-posts of the encamp- ments, we pass with still feet and caution,. Or we are entering by the suburbs some vast and ruined city, the blocks and fallen archi- tecture more than all the living cities of the globe.

Some Literary Criticism quotes

I am a free companion, I bivouac by invading watchfires. I turn the bridegroom out of bed and stay with the bride myself,. My voice is the wife's voice, the screech by the rail of the stairs,. They fetch my man's body up, dripping and drowned. How the skipper saw the crowded and rudderless wreck of the steam-ship, and death chasing it up and down the storm,.

How he knuckled tight, and gave not back one inch, and was faithful of days and faithful of nights,.

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And chalked in large letters, Be of good cheer, We will not desert you,. How the lank loose-gowned women looked when boated from the side of their prepared graves,. How the silent old-faced infants, and the lifted sick, and the sharp-lipped unshaved men,. All this I swallow, it tastes good, I like it well, it becomes mine,. The mother, condemned for a witch, burnt with dry wood, her children gazing on,. The hounded slave that flags in the race, leans by the fence, blowing, covered with sweat,. The twinges that sting like needles his legs and neck, the murderous buck-shot and the bullets,.

I am the hounded slave, I wince at the bite of the dogs,. Hell and despair are upon me, crack and again crack the marksmen,. I clutch the rails of the fence, my gore dribs, thinned with the ooze of my skin,. Taunt my dizzy ears, beat me violently over the head with whip-stocks. I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person,. My hurt turns livid upon me as I lean on a cane and observe. I am the mashed fireman with breastbone broken, tumbling walls buried me in their debris,. Heat and smoke I inspired, I heard the yelling shouts of my comrades,. I heard the distant click of their picks and shov- els,.

They have cleared the beams away, they tenderly life me forth. I lie in the night air in my red shirt, the pervading hush is for my sake. Painless after all I lie, exhausted but not so un- happy,. White and beautiful are the faces around me, the heads are bared of their fire-caps,. The kneeling crowd fades with the light of the torches. They show as the dial or move as the hands of me—I am the clock myself. I am an old artillerist, I tell of my fort's bombard- ment, I am there again. Again the reveille of drummers, again the attack- ing cannon, mortars, howitzers,.

The cries, curses, roar, the plaudits for well-aimed shots,. The ambulanza slowly passing, trailing its red drip,. Workmen searching after damages, making indis- pensable repairs,. The fall of grenades through the rent roof, the fan-shaped explosion,. The whizz of limbs, heads, stone, wood, iron, high in the air.

Again gurgles the mouth of my dying general, he furiously waves with his hand,. He gasps through the clot, Mind not me—mind — the entrenchments. I tell not the fall of Alamo, not one escaped to tell the fall of Alamo,. Hear of the murder in cold-blood of four hundred and twelve young men. Retreating, they had formed in a hollow square, with their baggage for breast-works,.

Nine hundred lives out of the surrounding enemy's, nine times their number, was the price they took in advance,. Their colonel was wounded and their ammunition gone,.

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They treated for an honorable capitulation, re- ceived writing and seal, gave up their arms, marched back prisoners of war. Matchless with horse, rifle, song, supper, court- ship,. Large, turbulent, brave, handsome, generous, proud, affectionate,. Bearded, sunburnt, dressed in the free costume of hunters,.

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  7. The second Sunday morning they were brought out in squads and massacred—it was beauti- ful early summer,. The work commenced about five o'clock and was over by eight. Some made a mad and helpless rush, some stood stark and straight,. A few fell at once, shot in the temple or heart, the living and dead lay together,. The maimed and mangled dug in the dirt, the new-comers saw them there,. These were dispatched with bayonets, or battered with the blunts of muskets,.


    A youth not seventeen years old seized his assas- sin, till two more came to release him,. The three were all torn, and covered with the boy's blood. That is the tale of the murder of the four hun- dred and twelve young men,. Did you read in the sea-books of the old-fashioned frigate-fight?

    Did you learn who won by the light of the moon and stars? His was the English pluck, and there is no tougher or truer, and never was, and never will be,. Along the lowered eve he came, horribly raking us. We closed with him, the yards entangled, the can- non touched,. We had received some eighteen-pound shots un- der the water,. On our lower-gun-deck two large pieces had burst at the first fire, killing all around and blowing up overhead.

    Ten o'clock at night and the full moon shining, and the leaks on the gain, and five feet of water reported,. The master-at-arms loosing the prisoners confined in the after-hold, to give them a chance for themselves. The transit to and from the magazine was now stopped by the sentinels,. They saw so many strange faces that they did not know whom to trust. Our frigate was afire, the other asked if we de- manded quarter?