Monday 11 November 2013

Remembrance Day

Dore Abbey, Welsh Borders, October 2013

Anthem for Doomed Youth

                                            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


the fly in the web said...

The contrast of the photograph and the poem bring home the desecration of it all.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly- I liked the juxtaposition between the quiet empty abbey church and the force of the words.

Niall & Antoinette said...
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Perpetua said...

Very moving. I discovered Owen's poetry at university and for me his has always been the outstanding voice of the Great War.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - He is indeed outstanding, and never fails to move me when I read his work.

GaynorB said...

One of my favourite Wilfred Owen poems. Love the contrast with the pic, too.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - one of mine too. It was always very rewarding to teach a unit on WWI poetry & literature.