anthem for doomed youth

we can forever discuss what is right or wrong with war  – wilfred owen wrote this poignant poem in 1917 and highlights the instability caused by war and death.  the poem has a note of finality, of lingering sadness and an inability to avoid the reality of death and grief.

 

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.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.
What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
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.

wilfred owen

13Dec2014_0042

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