When The War Will End

I’m currently transcribing a family relic I can best describe as a journal of “collected writings” from 1916 to 1924 by Emma Beatrice Knapp and her children and their friends and other family members. It was a catchall for everyone to do their school work, assignments, journal writing, recipes, and copied poetry. The family was serious about poetry with several of the children to grow up to publish their poetry and writing.

I’m starting to recognize the various handwriting styles, matching each person with their handwriting, though Nora, the oldest in the family, kept playing around with her cursive writing style, slating to the left, straight up and then right throughout the book’s time period. The children were Nora Knapp, Allen Knapp, Melvin Knapp, Wayne Knapp, Robert Knapp, and Lloyd Knapp.

I found a poem transcribed by one of them, possibly one of the older boys or Emma, called “When The War Will End”. I thought it was appropriate to share with you now, since the debate over the war in Iraq continues across the county, in the US government, and around the world. As best as I can tell, this is a slightly different version of the poem “When the War Will End” by Reginald Arkell (1882-1959).

October 29, 1917, Monday
“When the War Will End”

Absolute knowledge have I none
But my aunt’s washer woman’s son
Heard a policeman on his beat
Say to a laborer on the street
That he had a letter just last week
Written in the finest Greek
From a Chinese collie in Timbuktu
Who said the blacks in Cuba knew
Of a colored man in a Texas town
Who got it straight from a circus clown
That a man in Klondike heard the news
From a gang of South American Jews
About someone in Borneo
Who heard of a man who claimed he knew
Of a swell society dame
Whose mother-in-law will undertake
To prose that her seventh husband’s sister
Has stated in a printed piece
That she has a son who has a friendship
Who knows when the war is going to end.

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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2 Responses to When The War Will End

  1. Pingback: Family History » Finding the Reward in Copying Other People’s Work Across Time

  2. Bev says:

    Thank you so for sharing this poem.
    I recall my darling gramps happily reciting this to me 50+ years ago.
    His teaching me this jolly poem and his joy in sharing his memories of happiness
    on when the war were a great joy to him and has remained with me. I have looked for this poem so often. With deep appreciation,
    Blessings

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