Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime. . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

Wilfred Owen

Today’s two minute silence always takes me back to English Literature class, the War Poets, and Wilfred Owen in particular. We’ll never forget them and what they sacrificed for us, but we must always remember the cruel reality of war.


6 responses to “Remembrance

  1. Wilfred Owen’s poems really bought home the horrors of war. Thanks for doing such a good post for today.

    • Thanks Flighty I was in a room with my boss at the time and we stopped talking for the 2 minutes silence and it’s all I could think about. I don’t know how many children study these poems at school nowadays but they left a lasting impression on me.

  2. I was thinking of Dulce et Decorum est yesterday too, one of the few poems I remember from my English Lit classes. I think that’s because Wilfed Owen knew how to leave such a lasting impression of the horrors of war.

  3. We did Wilfred Owen at school too and other 20 century war poets like Rupert Brooke – what a difference in attitude to war!

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