War

(1966)

"War" is the fifth and final song of Siegmeister's The Face of War cycle, which sets five texts of Langston Hughes.

War
by Langston Hughes


The face of war is my face.
The face of war is your face.

What color
Is the face
Of war?

Brown, black, white--
Your face and my face.


Death is the broom
I take in my hands
To sweep the world
Clean.
I sweep and I sweep
Then mop and I mop.
I dip my broom in blood,
My mop in blood--
And blame you for this,
Because you are there,
Enemy.
It's hard to blame me,
Because I am here
So I kill you.
And you kill me.
My name,
Like your name,
Is war.


--The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes, p. 559


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