Sassoon, the elder, Sunday golfer; / Owen, bookish, gangly, pale – mingling / with the queue for the refectory.
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest / To children ardent for some desperate glory, / The…
Now over the map that took ten million years
/ Of rain and sun to crust like boiler-slag,
/ The lines of fighting men…
Who can gauge our range or pace? Every woman, / a signal tower, an illusion, a ship bearing dead ahead.
She walks on the charred ground, wings of smoke
/ from the bones of her home rising.
/ ‘Here was, there used to be,…
Summer grass is shoulder high once more, / higher than my sons will ever be.
Have you seen men come from the Line,
/ Tottering, doddering, as if bad wine
/ Had drugged their very souls;
Take your risk of life and death
/ Underneath the open sky.
/ Live clean or go out quick –
/ Lads, you’re wanted. Come and…
Anyway, shooting is over bold,
/ Oh, damn you, get back to your trench, you blighter,
/ I really can’t shoot a man with…
No man outlives the grief of war
/ Though he outlive its wreck:
/ Upon the memory a scar
/ Through all his years will ache.
The first to die was PROTESILAUS / A focused man who hurried to darkness / With forty black ships leaving…
Hame, hame, hame on the truck,
/ the wheels grind their grumly air, …