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Poem: In '36, But Not in Vain

Harry Denton, 24-year-old writer and IBMT member, has composed a poem to coincide with the 84th anniversary of the formation of the International Brigades. The poem reflects on the significance of the volunteers who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War and ends with the hope that younger generations learn about their sacrifice.

In ‘36, But Not in Vain
Harry Denton

I read of a time that I never knew,
A time of tyrants and chaotic overtures.
The memory of those who rushed to Spain
Illuminates the shade of a darkening earth.

Their loyalty to a cause and a calling
Saw them battle through those fateful years
For Madrid, for Jarama and at the Ebro river,
Under a Spanish sun, under the rains of fear.

Now we bathe, we lounge around
But then they bled and dug the ground
To bury Republicans; comrades and friends
In a war my generation can’t comprehend.

Yes they ‘are legend’, the International Brigades.
For when their homelands turned away
They journeyed south to join a struggle
In hopes of healing fascist pain.

My friends may know the victors of 1945.
But what of the volunteers? They were the first to fight.
The message still stands, in spite of its factions
To rise for reform or fall by reaction.

So before they holiday upon that hallowed ground,
I’m hoping that the young might learn something about
Those who left, to fight for Spain
In ‘36, but not in vain.

 

Posted on 24 September 2020.