For Kenneth MacLeish, 1894-1918 Ambassador Puser the ambassador Reminds himself in French, felicitous tongue, What these (young men no longer) lie here for In rows that once, and somewhere else, were young… All night in Brussels the wind had tugged at my door: I had heard the wind at my door and the trees strung Taut, and to me who had never been before In that country it was a strange wind, blowing Steadily, stiffening the walls, the floor, The roof of my room. I had not slept for knowing He too, dead, was a stranger in that land And felt beneath the earth in the wind’s flowing A tightening of roots and would not understand, Remembering lake winds in Illinois, That strange wind. I had felt his bones in the sand Listening. ...Reflects that these enjoy Their country’s gratitude, that deep repose, That peace no pain can break, no hurt destroy, That rest, that sleep… At Ghent the wind rose. There was a smell of rain and a heavy drag Of wind in the hedges but not as the wind blows Over fresh water when the waves lag Foaming and the willows huddle and it will rain: I felt him waiting. ...Indicates the flag Which (may he say) enisles in Flanders plain This little field these happy, happy dead Have made America… In the ripe grain The wind coiled glistening, darted, fled, Dragging its heavy body: at Waereghem The wind coiled in the grass above his head: Waiting—listening… ...Dedicates to them This earth their bones have hallowed, this last gift A grateful country… Under the dry grass stem The words are blurred, are thickened, the words sift Confused by the rasp of the wind, by the thin grating Of ants under the grass, the minute shift And tumble of dusty sand separating From dusty sand. The roots of the grass strain, Tighten, the earth is rigid, waits—he is waiting— And suddenly, and all once, the rain! Archibald MacLeish was an American poet, journalist, public servant, and professor. He attended Yale University and enlisted for action in World War I. MacLeish later attended Harvard Law School and practiced law in Boston for a time before moving to Paris for several years to devote himself fully to poetry. He won the Pulitzer prize three times: for his epic poem Conquistador (1932), his Collected Poems (1952), and his verse play J.B. based on the Book of Job, which was a success on Broadway in 1957. In addition to writing poetry, MacLeish wrote for Henry Luce's magazine Fortune, and, for five years, served as Librarian of Congress at the request of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He held multiple other positions in the Roosevelt administration, including Assistant Secretary of State for Cultural Affairs. From 1949 to 1962, MacLeish was Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University.