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
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Poem for Damned Youth

What passing-bells for those who die as cattle?
– Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
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Dulce et decorum est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
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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.