"In Praise of Ardor: Children and Animals in War," 3 Quarks Daily, November 23, 2015.
One evening in February 2012, I was in a Chicago noodle shop looking for a table for one. The television was on—a news report from Syria. The Syrian Army had begun its attack on Homs. The frame of the screen, jostling in the confusion, captured the faces of a woman and a boy. The woman was distraught. The boy, bewildered. I watched agape, for an instant transposing myself in the place of the woman and my own sons in the place of the boy. Children cannot take in their shattering world. The slight young man waiting tables that evening must have seen something in my expression. He changed the channel to a soccer match.
The poet and artist David Jones was just nineteen years old when he enlisted in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers as an infantryman in the British army in January 1915. Later that year, just after his twentieth birthday, he was serving on the western front until he was wounded in July 1916.
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