Poetry can be moving in many different ways. WW1 poet Wilfred Owen’s works are some I like the most. On 4 November 1918, Owen was killed while attempting to lead his men across the Sambre Canal at Ors. The news of his death reached his parents on 11 November, Armistice Day. With 11 November being the Day of Remembrance my first offering is his poem ‘The Next War’.
The Next War
Out there, we’ve walked quite friendly up to Death,-
Sat down and eaten with him, cool and bland,-
Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand.
We’ve sniffed the green thick odour of his breath,-
Our eyes wept, but our courage didn’t writhe.
He’s spat at us with bullets and he’s coughed
Shrapnel. We chorused when he sang aloft,
We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe.
Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
No soldier’s paid to kick against His powers.
We laughed, -knowing that better men would come,
And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags
He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.