Wilfred Owen

1914

War broke: and now the Winter of the world
With perishing great darkness closes in.
The foul tornado, centred at Berlin,
Is over all the width of Europe whirled,
Rending the sails of progress. Rent or furled
Are all Art's ensigns. Verse wails. Now begin
Famines of thought and feeling. Love's wine's thin.
The grain of human Autumn rots, down-hurled.

For after Spring had bloomed in early Greece,
And Summer blazed her glory out with Rome,
An Autumn softly fell, a harvest home,
A slow grand age, and rich with all increase.
But now, for us, wild Winter, and the need
Of sowings for new Spring, and blood for seed.
In: „Englische und amerikanische Dichtung, Bd. 3: Von R. Browning bis Heaney“ Hg. Horst Meller und Klaus Reichert (München: C. H. Beck Verlag, 2000), 124-125.

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Wilfred Owen


Wilfred Owen (b. March 18, 1893 near Oswestry, Shropshire, d. November 4, 1918 near Ors, France) is considered Britain’s greatest Great War poet. After serving on the Western front for six months in 1917, he was treated for shell shock at Craiglockhart Hospital in Edinburgh, where he wrote Dulce et decorum est and Anthem for Doomed Youth. Returning to the front in September 1918, Owen was killed in combat one week before the Armistice.