Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War

By Paul Fussell | Go to book overview

WHEN

How good 'twill be in days to come when peace is here again
To live in simple comfort free from worry, stress, and strain,
When breakfast is a cheery meal with coffee rich and rare,
And cream a-floating on the top and lashings still to spare.
From Times or Telegraph we're roused, "Please pass the marmalade,"
To hand a jar of jellied gold--real, genuine homemade!
When "butter" bends before it breaks in winter's icy grip,
When one may see without surprise the orange, and its pip.
When blackout curtains disappear and all may show a light,
When shop-assistants may be wrong--the customer be right.
When milkmen pour out milk in quarts, the butcher brings the joints,
And no one thinks of ration books, of coupons or of points.
When work has its allotted hours and there is time for play,
When no one needs to listen to the news but once a day;
When sugar's sweet and plentiful, and cakes are not a fluke,
When eggs are seldom mentioned, and Lord Woolton is a duke.
But oh, with hope and patience we are waiting for a day
When the tank is full of petrol and the dust sheet stowed away,
The engine's running smoothly and the M. G. free to roam,
When Oflag's gates have opened wide and Alan John is home.

When Alan John finally came home in May, 1945, Mrs. Milburn's grocer helped the family celebrate by letting her have some oranges.20


15
Compensation

Appearing in February, 1943, to the gratification of the sexually deprived troops and hungry civilians, was one of the prime American compensations for wartime deprivation, Walter Benton's free-verse sequence

-207-

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Wartime: Understanding and Behavior in the Second World War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Other Books by Paul Fussell *
  • Title Page iii
  • Preface ix
  • Contents xi
  • 1: From Light to Heavy Duty 3
  • 2: "Precision Bombing Will Win the War" 13
  • 3: Someone Had Blundered 19
  • 4 - Rumors of Wa 35
  • 5 - School of the Soldier 52
  • 6 - Unread Books on a Shelf 66
  • 7 - Chickenshit, an Anatomy 79
  • 8 - Drinking Far Too Much, Copulating Too Little 96
  • 9 - Type-Casting 115
  • 10: The Ideological Vacuum 129
  • 11: Accentuate the Positive 143
  • 12: High-mindedness 164
  • 13: With One Voice 180
  • 14 - Deprivation 195
  • 15 - Compensation 207
  • 16 - Reading in Wartime 228
  • 17 - Fresh Idiom 251
  • 18: The Real War Will Never Get in the Books" 267
  • Notes 299
  • Index 321
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