It is sweet and right.

I've chosen Knowlt Hoheimer from Spoon River Anthology for several reasons.

One of those reasons is a character in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle quotes it. Cat's Cradle has many themes including the absurdity of war, which was a nice omen to me as Knowlt absurdly gets killed in a Civil War battle because he is running away from taking responsibility for stealing a pig.

This poem is a "transit" story. Transit stories explore the borderlands between the living and the dying. I love transit stories:)

His grave is under a tombstone marked Pro Patria. He doesn't know what this means. It means "For one's country." 

Horace wrote "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" - it is sweet and right to die for your country.

I think Knowlt is absurd, the circumstances of his death are absurd and war is absurd.

Absurdum est pro patria mori - It is absurd to die for your country.

My vision for this piece is a central character who is dumb-founded by the absurdity of his life and his death.

The story takes place in a small room that is Knowlt's soul's "transit" room. He will ruminate on what has happened to him, first with disbelief, then with anger and finally with acceptance.

At this point I envision cut away shots of pig farms intercut with civil war battle scenes.

His tombstone has a marble figure with wings:

Winged Victory

Knowlt will have a lot to say about that!

Lydia Puckett (another poem subject) claims he joined the army because she spurned him. Knowlt has something to say about that too:)

 

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