This week's poem is based on another of those selections that has stuck with me throughout the years and that has been lurking in the back of my mind for just the right time. It's a gritty and ugly poem that reaches a bitter conclusion, but the Bulldog fandom is not a particularly happy or optimistic place right now, so the choice fits. "Dulce et Decorum est" is a war poem written by British teacher-turned-soldier Wilfred Owen, who was killed in battle a week before Armistice was signed. The poem is a combination of two sonnets, but the length and meter of the lines are irregular, producing a distorted effect--and making this the perfect poem for this week given the irregularity of our own lines. The original also mentions an "ecstasy of fumbling" and being gassed, both of which stand a good chance of happening this weekend--one way or another.
For all of my pessimism, however, I reach a different conclusion than Owen does. He claims that his Latin phrase is an "old lie," while I have chosen to
plug some English words into Google Translate come up with a Latin phrase of my own that represents a Bulldog truth (translation provided at the end). I realize that this site is populated with lawyers who actually know a good bit of Latin, so feel free to "that guy/girl" me in the comments on any mistakes. One of Owen's biographies claims that the appeal of his poems stems from, "a deep ingrained sense of compassion coupled with grim realism," which, more or less, sums up where we are at this point (although the depth of my compassion may be open to debate). I have included a special bonus picture that incorporates all of the 9th line and the first word of the 10th line of the original (with a little poetic license thrown in); I couldn't let Murray get off entirely, could I? With apologies to Wilfred Owen:
Bent backwards, the O-line folding for sacks,
knock-kneed, coughing up balls, Dawgs cursed through plays
‘til after fireworks, they turned their backs
on another opening day's malaise.
Dawgs limped off-field. Gurley had hurt his thigh,
but played on, Dawg tough. Some calls were lame, refs blind;
Dawgs were gassed, deaf largely from the high
volume of Tigers cheering out of their minds.
Snap! Snap! Quick, boys! The agony of fumbling,
botching the field goal hike at the worst time
after three sad downs of clumsy stumbling
and flound'ring through egregious playcall crimes.
Dim through the mem'ry pains of three-down fight
against an orange wall, I see knees downing.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
Dawgs plunge for six, sputtering, choking, downing.
If, in some nightmarish repeat, Dawgs also fall
behind the Gamecocks and we lose again,
and weep and wail cuz it's our fun'ral, PAAAWWWLLLL,
and we'll probably lose our remaining ten.
If we must hear, from ev'ry dolt, the smug
disrespect from narrative-corrupted lips
dismissing us with shrugs
and endless reels of "Bulldogs flop in big games" clips.
My friends, you will still--with earnest "Gloria, Gloria"--
to fans and foes alike this great truth attest:
Magna est esse Bulldog Georgia--
etiam quando non est.*
*Translation according to Google Translate: "It is great to be a Georgia Bulldog--even when it is not."
[EDIT] The translation of the Latin phrase from the original poem (Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori) is, "How sweet and right it is to die for one's country," which is quoted from a poem by the Roman poet Horace.
When Clowney Gas attacks...