A Term of Art of War at an Organ Recital

The phrase has pleasing (even pious)
Connotations, like
Arbeit Macht Frei,
“Molotov Cocktail,” and Enola Gay.

– From Formal Application, Donald W. Baker (1923-2002)

Deep in meditation by the end of an hour of organ music
in an old church pockmarked by manhole-size plaques
To the Glory of God  commemorating rich men’s sons
blown into the next life on the winds of war,
I note the last piece:

Carillion-Sortie – Henri Mulet  (1878-1967)

I know the term sortie as a term of art of war.
More generally it means to go out, leave
in the Middle French word sortir
and learned its meaning of
deployment from a strongpoint
by associating with other tough romance words:
the last of which sounds pleasantly like a musical term
but which was a short-barreled gun
of the late 18th and 19th centuries
that fired large shot at short range and
was used especially on warships.

Definition and certain word suggestions found at www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary

I don’t really expect anyone to believe this, but I wrote this tonight and then went over to dversepoets.com to see what the prompt was, and it fit to a tee…

12 thoughts on “A Term of Art of War at an Organ Recital

Add yours

  1. french always sounds enticing and romantic, no matter what the meaning of the word really is..ha..and.. arbeit macht frei…we learned that in school…in a way it does i think..

  2. I am not familiar with that poet so I enjoyed trying to gain some information, reading Professor but couldn’t find Formal Application except for an explanation of the title, which was intriguing. I wonder what he was going to hunt. This is fascinating conceptually, as Claudia says the enticing sound versus the meaning. Word changelings, or logical fallacies, or most frightening, ideological monsters. Anyway, you captured my imagination and thoughts, thank you.

  3. Both enjambment and steampunk…well-executed. The addition of French terms of war worked so well. Guess it’s hard to think of many things more disparate than and organ recital and war. And the irony of the plaques really struck me.

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