In Remembrance.

Dulce et Decorum Est

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 disappointed shells 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 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 (1893-1918) is widely recognised as one of the greatest voices of the First World War. His self-appointed task was to speak for the men in his care, to show the ‘Pity of War’.  Owen’s enduring and influential poetry is evidence of his bleak realism, his energy and indignation and his compassion.

Wilfred Owen was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre, just one week before the war ended.



8 thoughts on “In Remembrance.

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  1. EllaDee pointed out that you too had posted one of my favourite poems (I’ve got loads of blogs so I went to town today and put Dulce on one and Disabled on another). I think it is hard to beat Owen for capturing the tragedy of war.

    Your street art reminds me of the Van Gogh painting with a skull and a lit cigarette.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for taking time to comment. There are lots of dates in an annual calendar of events that I don’t mark with my blogs. Remebrance Day is is a date worth marking and hopefully offer a moment of reflection to people who stop off at my blog(s). You’ve some nice photographs on your Everypicturetellsone blog. I like the idea that every picture tells a story and the strap-line to my Little Bits Of Sheffield blog is “Small tales from a big city”. Have a good week, Best wishes, PC

      1. I’m selective with dates that I mark too, and not always the same ones every year. Depends what point I want to make I suppose. However I don’t think you can ever have too much of Owen 🙂

        I took a break from the above two blogs and made everypic the main one. I tried to change it back the other day to roughseas but wordpress is being its usual cantankerous self. 😀

        I thought Sheffield was a place of lots of villages? I did live there for a while in Crooke, when I attended the horrible Richmond College. I briefly had a boyfriend from Sheffield too when I used to do National Trust voluntary work. Small world.

      2. Thank you for the links.
        Sheffield is made up of distinct areas/villages and the weather can be different in different parts of the city.
        What do I know of Crookes? I was in Crookes one evening when I first came to Sheffield (many years ago) and there was snow on the ground but by the time I got to the city centre there was none! A few years back I made some postcards for Crookes Hardware store and lastly – There is also a band called The Crookes! So named because they also lived in Crookes!

    1. Hi Vicky, Thanks for stopping bay and taking time to comment. It’s an important day and I was pleased that local street artist coLor had decided to leave his personal tribute. I like that he named it after the poem so it only seemed right to publish both together. He actually only painted it yesterday! Another local artist Rocket01 painted two huge murals in Sheffield this year. One of Darwin and one of David Attenborough and in both he has them wearing a CND button badge and also a poppy. I’ve put links to the Rocket01 paintings below if you are interested. Best wishes, PC

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