Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11 November



Dulce et Decorum est (1917)

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 gas-shells dropping softly 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 floundering 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

Remembering Grandads service in France 1913 - 1919

2 comments:

Joy said...

My friend posted this poem, too, and others and they just simply tug at the heart. I hate wars, but I do see sometimes there are battles worth fighting for.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comments.

joy
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I, Woman

Anonymous said...

I haven't come across this poem before. It describes so well the horrors of mustard gas.My grandad was there too, and two of my great uncles died.
And they said it was the war to end all wars, when will we learn?
S
x

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