Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Annual Silent Poetry Reading

Did you realize yesterday was the Annual Silent Poetry Reading for blogs?
I always forget.
I think I was a day late last year.
Isn't that just like me, and I bet I'm a dollar short too.
Not to make this too somber of a post, but my favorite poetry is that of the World War I poets. There's something so poignant, yet strong about the message sent through the words of Englishmen who suffered in a horrible war, and from so many who died young.
Wilfred Owen is one of these young men, whose story is strikingly sad. Fortunately his poetry lives on to remind us of what war is really like. You may recall he wrote the most famous poem of WWI - "Dulce et Decorum est".
Anthem for Doomed Youth

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
- Only the monstruous 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.

Not a happy poem, but one that resonates with a message that transcends any specific war.
Here is a photo of Wilfred Owen - his eyes say it all:

Thanks to Major Knitter for reminding me of this day.


Jennifer said...

Great poem - and even better picture. Hauntingly moving - both poem and portrait.

KnittingReader said...

Have you read the Ghost Road Trilogy by Pat Barker? It's an excellent series about WWI and Wilfred Owen is one of the characters.