There was a man who wanted to write war
with clear eyes and tight meter; went and stood
near the front line, was sometimes splashed with blood
when men exploded near him. Beat a whore
who might know rebels, tied her to a chair,
so he knew how interrogators felt
how foul the emptying of bowels smelled
and wrote a sonnet afterwards. So bare
and stark his style became, he drove a tank
into a village just to know the sound
that skulls and legs made crushed into the ground.
His epigrams on war most people rank
among his best work, both for skilful rhymes
and evidence that hanged him for war crimes.