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date: 18 May 2022

Wilfred Owen 1893–1918
English poet 

  1. My subject is War, and the pity of War.
    The Poetry is in the pity.
    Preface (written 1918) in Poems (1963)
  2. All a poet can do today is warn.
    Preface (written 1918) in Poems (1963)
  3. What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
    Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
    Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
    Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ (written 1917)
  4. The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
    And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
    ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ (written 1917)
  5. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
    Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
    And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
    ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ (written 1917)
  6. 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.
    ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ (1963 ed.); see Horace
  7. Was it for this the clay grew tall?
    ‘Futility’ (written 1918)
  8. It seemed that out of battle I escaped
    Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped
    Through granites which titanic wars had groined.
    ‘Strange Meeting’ (written 1918)
  9. ‘Strange friend,’ I said, ‘here is no cause to mourn.’
    ‘None,’ said that other, ‘save the undone years,
    The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,
    Was my life also.’
    ‘Strange Meeting’ (written 1918)
  10. I am the enemy you killed, my friend.
    I knew you in this dark: for you so frowned
    Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed…
    Let us sleep now.
    ‘Strange Meeting’ (written 1918)