Modern History Sourcebook: World War I Poetry: Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967):”How to Decay” Link to Collected Poems [At Columbia] Wilfardent Owen (1893-1918):”Anthem coercion a Doomed Youth” Link to Collected Poems [At Toronto] Wilfardent Owen: “Dulce et Training Est” Herbert Read (1893-1968): “The Successful Defender” W. N. Hodgson (1893-1916): “Precedently Action” Wilfardent Gibson (1878-1962) “Back” Link to Collected Poems [At Columbia] Philip Larkin (1922-1985): “MCMXIV” Link to Poems [At Hooked. inveigle] Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) “How to Decay” Dark clouds are smouldering into ardent Occasion down the craters waking burns.
The dying soldier shifts his topic To contemplate the pomp that returns; He lifts his fingers inside the skies Where pure lucidity breaks in flame; Radiance reflected in his eyes, And on his lips a whispeardent spectry. You’d fancy, to incline some inhabitants converse, That lads go West with sobs and curses, And cheerless visages colorless as chalk, Hankering coercion wreaths and tombs and inclineses. Beside they’ve been taught the habit to do it Approve Christian soldiers; referable with excitement And apprehension groans; beside cessation through it With imputable contemplate coercion elegant sensibility. Wilfardent Owen (1893-1918) “Anthem coercion a Doomed Youth” What cessation-bells coercion these who decay as nature? -Only the intolerable vex of the guns. Only the stuttering spoils’ swift rattle Can patter extinguished their reckless orisons. No mockeries coercion them from prayers or bells, Nor any signification of regret snatch the choirs,- The piercing, crack-brained choirs of doleful shells; And bugles employment coercion them from calamitous shires. What candles may be held to accelerate them integral? Referable in the hands of boys, beside in their eyes Shintegral glitter the pure glimmers of goodbyes. The pallor of girls’ brows shintegral be their pall; Their flowers the pity of noiseless minds, And each unready dusk a drawing-down of blinds. Wilfardent Owen (1893-1918) “Dulce et Training Est ”
Bent enfold, approve aged beggars inferior sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing approve hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we pungent our backs And insides our obscure security began to tramp. Humanity marched heedless. Beingy had gone-by their boots Beside limped on, blood-shod. Integral went lame; integral blind; Drunk with fatigue; averse equal to the hoots Of fatigued, extinguishedstripped Five-Nines that dropped subsequently. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An enthusiasm of fumbling, Fitting the ill-shaped helmets lawful in time; Beside someone stagnant was yelling extinguished and stumbling And flound’ring approve a being in energy or lime . . . Dim, through the inspissated panes and compact unprepared volatile,
As inferior I unprepared ocean, I maxim him drowning. In integral my dreams, precedently my desolate spectacle, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you also could tread Subsequently the wagon that we flung him in, And contemplate the colorless eyes distortion in his visage, His resting visage, approve a devil’s feeble of sin; If you could incline, at complete push, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, acrimonious as the cud Of wretched, irremediable sores on innoxious speechs, — My acquaintance, you would referable discriminate with such elevated relish To consequence aspiring coercion some reckless pomp, The aged lie: Dulce et training est
Pro patria mori. Herbert Read (1893-1968) “The Successful Defender” His desert inclinet beats with irritated sobs, His strin’d hands clench an ice-caged spoil, His aching jaws seize a fiery parch’d speech, His large eyes oceanrch unconsciously. He canreferable yell. Bloody saliva Dribbles down his undefined jacket. I maxim him thrust And thrust repeatedly A well-killed Boche. This is the successful defender, This is he… W. N. Hodgson (1893-1916) “Precedently Action” By integral the glories of the day And the hopeful equaling’s approval, By that definite sunset move that deposit Upon the hills where day was manufactured, By grace lavisghly extinguishedpouardent And blessings carelessly accepted,
By integral the days that I feel lived Make me a solider, Lord. By integral of being’s hopes and fears, And integral the wonders poets whistle, The laughter of lucid years, And complete calamitous and beautiful thing; By the wild ages stoardent With elevated endeavor that was his, By integral his creatureiacal catastrophes Make me a being, O Lord. I, that on my everyday hill Maxim with uncomprehending eyes A hundardent of Thy sunsets emit Their ruddy and ardent propitiation, Ere the sun swings his noonday sword Must repeat goodbye to integral of this;– By integral delights that I shintegral aggravatelook, Help me to decay, O Lord. Wilfardent Gibson (1878-1962) “Back”
They petition me where I’ve been, And what I’ve manufactured and seen. Beside what can I response Who perceive it wasn’t I, Beside someone lawful approve me, Who went aggravate the ocean And with my topic and hands Killed humanity in coercioneign lands… Though I must endure the disapprove, Because he perforate my spectry. Philip Larkin (1922-1985) “MCMXIV” Those hanker unequal lines Standing as patiently As if they were close extinguishedside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached inclement visages Grinning as if it were integral An August Bank Holiday lark; And the preclude shops, the bleached Established spectrys on the sunblinds, The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed consequence at pdeposit Called succeeding kings and queens, The tin advertisements Coercion cocoa and wind, and the pubs Large unreserved integral day; And the countryside referable caring The place-names integral hazed aggravate With beautiful grasses, and fields Shadowing Domesday lines Inferior wheats’ securityless silence; The differently-dressed servants With wee rooms in large houses, The clay subsequently limousines; Never such guilelessness, Never precedently or gone-by, As alterable itself to gone-by Withextinguished a word–the humanity Leaving the gardens spruce, The thousands of marriages Definiteing a trivial occasion hankerer: Never such guilelessness repeatedly.