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    black and white ink texture

    Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Conscientious Objector”

    A Visual Interpretation

    By Julian Peters

    March 25, 2020
    • Sandra Kostrzewski

      Insulting to Americans who have given their lives or lost loved ones while in service to their country or defending freedom in other countries. Ugly and offensive. I hope and pray his drawing hand falls off.

    Conscientious Objector by Edna St. Vincent Millay: I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death.


    I hear him leading his horse out of the stall; I hear the clatter on the barn-floor.


    He is in haste; he has business in Cuba, business in the Balkans, many calls to make this morning.


    But I will not hold the bridle while he clinches the girth.


    And he may mount by himself: I will not give him a leg up.


    Though he flick my shoulders with his whip, I will not tell him which way the fox ran.


    With his hoof on my breast, I will not tell him where the black boy hides in the swamp.


    I shall die, but that is all I shall do for death; I am not on his payroll.


    I will not tell him the whereabouts of my friends, nor of my enemies either.


    Though he promise me much, I will not map him the route to any mans door


    Am I a spy in the land of the living, that I should deliver men to death?


    Brother, the password and the plans of our city are save with me; never through me shall you be overcome.


    From Poems to See By: A Comic Artist Interprets Great Poetry (Plough, March 2020).

    Contributed By JulianPeters Julian Peters

    Julian Peters is an illustrator and comic book artist living in Montreal, Canada, who focuses on adapting classical poems into graphic art. His work has been exhibited internationally and published in several poetry and graphic art collections.

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