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March of the Red Army

by LeutnantSchweinehund

Note: A quick piece, told from the perspective of an old Red Army soldier, recalling the days on which he marched among his comrades.

Written in iambic tetrameter with a 'Chant royal' rhyme scheme. Hopefully more accurately this time around.

Note 2: Error in the description. "An old soldier" is correct.

March of the Red Army

How dark were those long days of war,
so cruel and filled with wrath and flame,
how seared the flesh of men, the gore,
and foes did take our last of fame.
Yet we broke loose, so fierce and bold,
and charged as those above had told,
to strike the helm and pierce the wretch,
and take away our rightful stretch,
oh yes, so did we kill the foe,
and there we saw of war the sketch.
Oh yes, so did we kill the foe!

Behind the fight had left us cold,
Our comrades did we, shaken, hold,
who fell for glory, our homestretch,
a victory to proudly fetch!
Oh yes, so did we valor show,
and into stone our tale we etch!
Oh yes, so did we valor show!

On roads so wide, in trenches deep,
we stand in lines, in eager troves,
prepared our blades and arms we keep,
to dry the mouths of Nazi droves!
The mud and rocks do fill the air,
above our heads is shot a flare,
so Red, as flags of Soviet ranks,
and then rolled in the fearsome tanks,
oh yes, on that day we were free,
and so we give our heartfelt thanks!
Oh yes, on that day we were free!

With wrath we had the foe on shanks,
in flames of rifles, turning cranks,
oh please, my girl, do come for me,
before the foe our force outranks,
oh please, my girl, do come for me!

And when we broke through Nazi lines,
then weary through the streets we marched,
the sun upon you, comrades, shines,
as one we peer from ledges parched,
in union, friends, we staunchly clashed,
against the foe with terror lashed,
the monster we so stiffly broke,
and felled its force in one swift stroke!
How few I killed, such deep regret,
with blood my blade I hadn't soaked,
how few I killed, such deep regret!

Now I ride home, my soul so thrashed,
my breath it broke and conscience slashed,
I say as you and me evoke,
these visions old, beneath the oak,
oh yes, such was the Soviet March,
for then we did protect the folk.
Oh yes, such was the Soviet March!

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36 Reviews

Points: 172
Reviews: 36

Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:50 am

As much as I hate communism and all who fight for it, this poem is beautiful. Good job.


Oh, don't worry, so do I. My country was occupied by communists who were, quite frankly, worse in their behavior than the Third Reich.

But I wanted to pay respects to the casual Red Army soldier who just fought for his country. Excluding the raping murderers among them, of course.

Where are you from?

Czech Republic. Formerly known as Czechoslovakia, formerly known as the %u010CSSR, formerly known as the Czech and Moravian Protectorate, formerly known as the First Republic, formerly known as Austro-Hungaria...

We're a small country and neighboring states beat on us quite a bit in history.

That's awesome! I have a lot of ancestors from there.


There's a great big charm with Slavic culture... We're quite unique, I'd say. The poverty has created a truly odd bunch indeed.

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841 Reviews

Points: 664
Reviews: 841

Thu Apr 19, 2018 7:53 pm
Radrook says...

The following words will probably confuse many readers here.

wretch, might be confused with retch
comrades - better to use friends or fellow workers
troves, a trove is a collection.

thrashed, better to use beaten or whipped
Soviet better to use Russian
Red Army- Might be taken literally an army of painted red.
seared -- better to use charred, it might be mistaken for seer or prophet.
droves-- might be mistaken for the past tense of drive. Better to say in large numbers.

Wretch meant in the sense of an individual of low stature and poor quality. A Nazi wretch. The enemy. I'll confess, I don't actually know what retch means, haha!

And droves, of course, also meant in that meaning - in large numbers, the Nazi droves. To await the enemy gathered in great strength.

It's true that someone might confuse these words, but I'll have to keep them. Especially Soviet and Red Army, since both go hand-in-hand and are essential for the period (since the Red Army wasn't entirely Russian).

I'll find a replacement for 'troves' though. While the use here isn't technically entirely wrong, it's borderline. Gotta replace it, definitely.

Thanks mister!

Radrook says...

Oh I have absolutely no problem understanding these words and how they fit in harmoniously in the poem. But I know by experience that there is a significant number who will be confused. So to reduce that number and increase the readers who will understand without difficulty, the vocabulary needs to be kept very simple. Yes I know, the Red Army included member nations of the Soviet Union where were not Russian.

Ah, well in that case, I can't help but agree with you.

And it's a crying shame too. Having such a limited vocabulary just limits a poet. Unfortunately, we must indeed appeal to the masses and sometimes resort to butchering some complexities within our works.

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Points: 52
Reviews: 1

Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:04 pm
SurrealOArt says...

I thought it was a very intriguing piece. my thoughts are the portion of "Oh yes..." be shortened if not removed, it doesn't seem fitting in the poem i would also think that if you had it before the last stanza it would fit as a good pre-closer. 9/10

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Points: 329
Reviews: 2

Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:13 am
splatteringskelton21 wrote a review...

okay let me just say that this is absolutely great! I love your rhyme scheme, it flows so smoothly, and it tells a story in the best way. It's just outstanding.
However, :")
I suggest that the repetition of "oh yes" be diminished. It is very distracting and it seems to not belong there. Also when it repeats the last and third line from it, you could try just saying it once, but of course its for emphasis, so it would mostly depend on the reader.
But ye, overall its great, and I look forward to reading more of your work! :"))

Hmm, well maybe I should. I tried my best to follow the 'March Royal' rhyme scheme, where the line with rhyme E is repeated word-for-word. It's supposed to add an effect, to sound a bit like a marching song.

Since both reviews critiqued it though, I ought to look it over and see if, perhaps, there were better forms to choose.

Random avatar

oh yes :")

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291 Reviews

Points: 18848
Reviews: 291

Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:13 am
Dossereana wrote a review...

Hi there @LeutnantSchweinehund I am hear to do a review on your poem, How dark were those long days of war, okay so I feel like the comers should not be in this bit it should be a question Merck, to strike the helm and pierce the wretch, okay I am not shore what you are saying in this bit, there needs to be more description, oh yes, so did we kill the foe, question mark, Oh yes, so did we kill the foe! Why did you have to say that twise? Oh yes, so did we valor show, valor is not spelt right and question mark, stop saying Oh yes, cos that gets a bit annoying, Oh yes, so did we valor show! You said it twise, to dry the mouths of Nazi droves! Ho is Nazi, oh yes, on that day we were free, you are saying oh yes again, Oh yes, on that day we were free! You said it twise, oh please, my girl, do come for me! You keep on saying things twise, And when we broke through Nazi lines, I think that there should be a the some were, how few I killed, such deep regret! You said this already, Oh yes, such was the Soviet March! You said that already, so that was all that I can say about it, so keep up with the good work. :D

From @MoonFlower

Thanks much for the review! I'll just throw in a bit of an explanation.

'To strike the helm and pierce the wretch' - the Red Army charged as their commanders had said, meaning to strike the helms of their foes and pierce them with blades.

The line is repeated twice because of the rhyme scheme, 'march royal,' which insists upon repeating the E-rhyming line word-for-word. Purely a method of form, no real poetic meaning.

Valor, as in bravery, courage, fearlessness. They showed the enemy their staunch determination to defend the Motherland. Valour is also a correct way to spell the word. It's like color vs. colour. Both are correct.

Nazi droves - Nazi Germany, the Third Reich, primary Axis power during the second world war. The enemies of the Red Army, to say it simply.

Hopefully that clears up some motives, some meanings and such.

So thanks! Appreciate it!

Dossereana says...

That makes sens.

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.
— Helen Keller