The Silent Generation by Louis Simpson

When Hitler was the Devil
He did as he had sworn
With such enthusiasm
That even, donnerwetter,
The Germans say, “Far better
Had he been never born!”

It was my generation
That put the Devil down
With great enthusiasm.
But now our occupation
Is gone. Our education
Is wasted on the town.

We lack enthusiasm.
Life seems a mystery;
It’s like the play a lady
Told me about: “It’s not…
It doesn’t have a plot,”
She said, “It’s history.”

Louis Simpson



Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from
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