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VE Night – Then and Now – by Iris_Bruce


Following are two poems, the first written on 8th May 1945 by me, aged 11:

VE Night

I went to see a bonfire
On V night on a hill
The searchlights all were glowing
And all was bright and still

Then someone raised a mighty shout
‘Throw on some wood’ they said
‘Let’s go and bring the people out
To see the embers red’

‘Let’s let off lots of fireworks
Some yellow, Green and Blue
Some Catherine wheels and rockets
And rain of every hue’

The people sang the people danced
They threw wood on the fire
And many children saw entranced
That scene, their hearts’ desire

For some had never seen before
A fire so big as that
While fireworks and searchlights
They made a union jack

And when at 4 o’clock next morn
The crowd went down the hill
And dawn was breaking far away
That memory lingered still

by Iris Aspland, aged 11

Sixty years later, and now a bit older, written on 8th May 2005:

VE Night

I’m going to see a bonfire
A bonfire on a hill
To celebrate VE night
The memory lingers still

It’s 60 years ago now
And many things have passed
But those celebrations left
Impressions that will last

We’d never seen a firework
Or pretty coloured rain
The only rockets that we knew
Inflicted deadly pain

We’d seen the dockside burning
Incendiaries in the street
But to dance around that bonfire
We thought a wondrous treat

The searchlights that had chased the planes
Made patterns in the sky
The church bells, hooters, sirens
We heard on hilltop high

We sang and danced and laughed and cried
As we went down the hill
And dawn was breaking far away
That memory lingers still

By Iris Bruce (60 years on, and the poetry hasn’t improved!)

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at www.waterstones.com

5 responses

  1. I liked both poems!

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  2. Didn’t need to improve – says it all

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  3. They both tell a wonderful, joyful story, and I find myself celebrating too.

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  4. I don’t agree with your closing comment in red, Iris. And I enjoyed them both.
    I too have recollections from some time during age 1-3 of air raid sirens wailing in Toronto, Canada.

    Maybe it was just once …on your bonfire night!

    I thank God for the forbearance of suffering you British and other European allies endured, which we Canadians felt little, throughout the war.

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  5. A very good poem quite intense

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