Richard is standing at Schermer's doorway, too
stunned to cry. With great compassion, the family brings him inside.
Schermer gently shows him the headline "Beloved American Poet Killed in
Battle" in the newspaper. Richard gazes at the smiling face for the first
time after his death. The article recounts the circumstances of Kilmer's death
and how his comrades bury him in France.
is too shocked to cry and realises that the unposted letter to Kilmer's is
still in his pocket. Reality strikes and the tears begin to well up, He thanks
the Schermers and runs to his favourite oak tree where he cries freely.
filled witrh hopelessness as he ponders the unanswered question on what poets
and poetry can do to make the world a better place. He realises that poets are
unable to stop war.
returns home he composes a poem In Memory of Sergeant Joyce Kilmer. It has
four verses expressing sadness over the loss of a world of rhyme and song he
visits the schermers the next day and shares this poem with them. They are all
touched by his beautiful poetic piece. Mr Schermer insists that more people
should read the poem as so many families in Turtle Lake have lost their loved
ones. Richard 's poem would mean a lot to local residents, espicially because
it is 'coming from one of their own.
his panic at the thought of having his poem published in the Turtle Lake
Weekly, Richard agrees to the idea. Hannah immidiately accompanies him to the
newspaper office. However, he flees ad Mr Garrison begins to read his poem. He
fear Pa's reaction if his poem is printed.
Tuesday arrives, Richar buys a copy of the newspaper and to his horror, sees
his poem printed in the middle of page 3. As Pa gets his newspaper from his
mailbox, Richard rushes to hide in his room.
Pa calmly walks in and sits at the edge of Guy's bed. After a long silence, Pa
begins to share about Uncle Rolamd who, like Gus, was a little reckless, and
thought he was invincible. Sadly, Uncle Roland was the only war casualty in the
Battle of El Garney on July 1 which America won. Pa breaks down and Richard
reaches out to comfort him. "A world is gone! A world is dead and
gone!" Pa had whispered to himself as Roland's body was lowered into the
grave. "How didi you know those words?" ask Pa in a breaking a
breaking voice. Richard remains silent because both of them finally understand
why he writes poems.
in mid-November with an Allied victory . As winter approaches, Richard works at
the farm and at school. He spends time with Hannah and her family and continues
to write poems.
poems are regularly featured in the local weekly. Richard's father is now his
consultant as his poems deal with farm life and Pa is an expert, Richard happy
that Pa's ideas and suggestions are as helpful as Joyce Kilmer's had been.