Le Pourquoi

LE POURQUOI

Words: Marc de Larreguy de Civrieux, Music: Caroline Lavelle

Depuis les jours de Charleroi
Et la retraite de la Marne,
J’ai promene partout ma ‘carne’
Sans en comprendre le pourquoi…
Quand je demande autour de moi
Quel est le but de ces tueries,
On me repond le mot:’Patrie!’
Sans en comprendre le pourquoi…
Mieux me vaudrait de rester coi,
Et quand viendrait mon agonie,
De m’en aller de cette vie
Sans en comprendre le pourquoi…
February 1916 at the front


I found the two poems that I used in Siamant’o and Le Pourquoi in a great book called ‘The Lost Voices of World War I’ by Tim Cross, published by Bloomsbury. It inspired me even more in my interest in the writing and art of the First World War. Tim Cross has collected poems from all the nationalities who fought; not just those who ended on the winning side. All the writers who appear in the book were killed during the period 1914 -1918, mostly very young, and it is even more astonishing that the work they leave us is of such a high standard, as they had had little time to develop their talents.
Le Pourquoi is from a poem by a Frenchman, Marc de Larreguy de Civrieux called (in English) ‘The Soldier’s Soliloquies’, and it tells of the unanswered question of why all this horror is happening. It comes from his book ‘Le Muse de sang’ which went to four printings after his death, although he is almost unknown today. He was killed on 18th November 1916 at Verdun.

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