Monday, 28 July 2014

Poetry Revisited: 1914 by Wilfred Owen

Today 100 years ago, on 28 July 1914, the almost 84-year-old Austrian Emperor and Hungarian King Francis Joseph I declared war against the Kingdom of Serbia and set in train what was to grow into World War I or simply the Great War. In commemoration of the sad event I'm sharing with you the following poem by Wilfred Owen who was killed in action in 1918, only one week before the armistice:

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.

                                                        Wilfred Owen
                                                         (1893-1918)

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