The National Midday Sun

Signals => General Chat - English => Topic started by: 34Poolboy on November 11, 2008, 11:26:41 am

Title: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: 34Poolboy on November 11, 2008, 11:26:41 am
"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.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
 

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori."


Wilfred Owen
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: NeilP on November 11, 2008, 11:33:20 am
Wilfred Owen - an old boy of my school.
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: Bez on November 11, 2008, 11:38:54 am
Didn't Owen volunteer to go back to the front after he was wounded....?
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: NeilP on November 11, 2008, 11:47:06 am
Quote from: Bez on November 11, 2008, 11:38:54 am
Didn't Owen volunteer to go back to the front after he was wounded....?


Yes.

After returning to the front, Owen led units of the Second Manchesters on 1 October 1918 to storm a number of enemy strong points near the village of Joncourt. He was killed in action on 4 November 1918,  at the Battle of the Sambre just a week before the war ended, causing news of his death to reach home as the town's church bells declared peace. For his courage and leadership in the Joncourt action, he was posthumously awarded the Military Cross.

Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: 34Poolboy on November 11, 2008, 11:50:33 am
I`ve just read that his mother learned of his death on the last day of the war.
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: andyhaines on November 11, 2008, 11:51:36 am
Quote from: Bez on November 11, 2008, 11:38:54 am
Didn't Owen volunteer to go back to the front after he was wounded....?

Yep...he met Sassoon in Craiglockhart whilst recuperating...if I remember rightly, he didn't mention to Sassoon that he was returning to the front in case he tried to talk him out of it. The saddest story I heard was that Owen's mother received the telegram informing her of her son's death as the church bells were ringing out, declaring the end of hostilities. :(
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: andyhaines on November 11, 2008, 11:59:13 am
I was at Craiglockhart about a month ago..it's now part of Napier University.
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: NeilP on November 11, 2008, 12:02:19 pm
Yes, he and Sassoon did return to the front, Sassoon was shot in the head  by friendly fire and Owen saw his duty as replacing him on the front line, though he kept this from him I believe.
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: Bez on November 11, 2008, 12:09:10 pm
Just had a read up on Owen and Sassoon on Wikipedia, it doesn't get any better does it....
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: andyhaines on November 11, 2008, 12:36:55 pm
Quote from: Bez on November 11, 2008, 12:09:10 pm
Just had a read up on Owen and Sassoon on Wikipedia, it doesn't get any better does it....

If you are interested, Bez, then Pat Barker's "Regeneration" is a great novel. It is semi-biographical as it deals with Sassoon's (and Owen's) time at Craiglockhart, and Sassoon's relationship with his psychologist..
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: 34Poolboy on November 11, 2008, 12:51:19 pm
Good recommendation Andy, I definitely agree!

The Eye in the Door and The Ghost Road as well. Very emotional stuff!
Title: Re: Dulce et decorum est
Post by: döm on November 12, 2008, 17:43:47 pm
Quote from: andyhaines on November 11, 2008, 12:36:55 pm
If you are interested, Bez, then Pat Barker's "Regeneration" is a great novel. It is semi-biographical as it deals with Sassoon's (and Owen's) time at Craiglockhart, and Sassoon's relationship with his psychologist..


Excellent book