TeaTimeSunday / SONNETS
Court Marshalling "... Private Ryan"

(VOTE: guilty or not guilty )
a 4-sonnet summation

rhetorical verse in Shakespearean sonnet form

The People (especially Veterans of WWII,
but all Americans)
v. Saving Private Ryan

{TTS/060902_01.01} I ASK the ladies and the gentlemen

{TTS/060902_01.02} of this fair jury gathered here today...

{TTS/060902_01.03} Unlock the loaded thoughts you carried in

{TTS/060902_01.04} and listen now to what I have to say.

{TTS/060902_01.05} WHEN, AT THE BUNKER . . . . the platoon had won . . .

{TTS/060902_01.06} . . . had captured the last German left undead ...

{TTS/060902_01.07} WHAT DID our soldiers think was to be done?

{TTS/060902_01.08} "Let's shoot the unarmed pris'ner in the head."

{TTS/060902_01.09} LOOK: WHO's the only man to brake the wheels

{TTS/060902_01.10} to stop the locomotive of revenge?

{TTS/060902_01.11} THE COWARD blocks the shot . . . as Fritz prays... kneels.

{TTS/060902_01.12} AND ONLY THEN ... the Captain does impinge.

{TTS/060902_01.13} THESE MEN who only served so they could leave.

{TTS/060902_01.14} These selfish portraits made me want to heave.


{TTS/060902_02.01} DID MEN DIE on that beach in bleeding foam

{TTS/060902_02.02} AND OTHERS lose their arms and legs . . . BECAUSE

{TTS/060902_02.03} they fought to earn the right "to just go home?"

{TTS/060902_02.04} OR DID THEY FIGHT for some much greater cause? ...

{TTS/060902_02.05} PURE EVIL walked the earth in those dark days.

{TTS/060902_02.06} The skies were black with ash from Jewish bones.

{TTS/060902_02.07} WE DID NOT KNOW the depths of Hitler's craze.

{TTS/060902_02.08} WE HAD NOT SEEN what's left after the moans.

{TTS/060902_02.09} BUT WHEN our men packed up to go to war

{TTS/060902_02.10} THEY WERE NOT making plans to cut a deal.

{TTS/060902_02.11} THEY KNEW they risked their lives for something more.

{TTS/060902_02.12} Just ask someone who fought: "What did you feel?"

{TTS/060902_02.13} I know most prayed to God they'd get back soon...

{TTS/060902_02.14} But only when they'd sung sweet vict'ry's tune.


{TTS/060902_03.01} LAST: What of PRIVATE RYAN in this case?

{TTS/060902_03.02} He disobeyed his order's clear command.

{TTS/060902_03.03} (What if an extra said "No" to Steve's face?)

{TTS/060902_03.04} He ought to be court marshalled for this stand.

{TTS/060902_03.05} To stay and help your buddies is sure swell.

{TTS/060902_03.06} But PRIVATES do not have the right to choose:

{TTS/060902_03.07} An army would collapse and go to hell.

{TTS/060902_03.08} You break chain of command... Well then, you lose.

{TTS/060902_03.09} A veteran if asked would surely know

{TTS/060902_03.10} behavior such as this was just not done.

{TTS/060902_03.11} A private does not get to run the show.

{TTS/060902_03.12} THE CAPTAIN should have taken 'way his gun.

{TTS/060902_03.13} BUT THEN there'd be no closing battle scene.

{TTS/060902_03.14} And that, for Spielberg, would have been obscene.


{TTS/060902_04.01} SO LET US PUT THE BLAME where blame should be:

{TTS/060902_04.02} A good director's failure TO SEE CLEAR

{TTS/060902_04.03} the moral pivot in complexity.

{TTS/060902_04.04} The tone gone wrong that he could just not hear.

{TTS/060902_04.05} A weakling, sniv'ling coward ... ONCE does right.

{TTS/060902_04.06} The "good guys" would have done a heinous act.

{TTS/060902_04.07} A CAPTAIN'S WEAKNESS causes every plight.

{TTS/060902_04.08} AND THEN we're sold the whole thing like it's fact.

{TTS/060902_04.09} It's "history," not movie, Spielberg claims.

{TTS/060902_04.10} Not entertaining noise, but school-book tales.

{TTS/060902_04.11} He marches out old profs and lifts up names

{TTS/060902_04.12} of D-Day soldiers crying. . . . Though he nails . . .

{TTS/060902_04.13} . . . well-simulated battle . . . THAT'S NOT TRUTH.

{TTS/060902_04.14} Go off now, jury, to your voting booth.
# # # forensicpoetry a/k/a BOKE

Spielberg called this film
"an immorality tale."
He was quite correct.

The mechanism for online (and via TV remote) voting (-5 to +5) is in development.

Copyright © 2002 Jim BOKE Tomlin artistofideas