Sunday, 8 October 2017

Book #47

Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

The true horror of the trenches is brought to life in this selection of poetry from the front line.


This is a very strong introduction to Owen’s war poetry. Making no apologies for the truth, he shows us the horror of the trenches in wonderful verse. It's bleak as hell, yet enlightening, with not one glory included. 

His opinion of war is clear here; young men are sent to die, are bound to die, for the good of their country. It's heartbreaking to note that these poems were written in the midst and tumult of WW1, only for their poet to be killed some days before the war ended. There's something in that.

These poems are so important in reminding us of early wars, and the people, rather than the numbers, behind them. It's amazing that we see such atrocity still happen almost one hundred years later, but we are bound to forget those who fought and died for us.

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,
Thr old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

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