Reflections on a poem

At the Writers’ group we each chose a Poem. Godwill chose this one by Wilfred Owen:

Anthem for Doomed Youth.

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous 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.
Wifred Owen


Can Godwill move me with a poem?
Will words excite the passion in my breast?
A quiet voice, a slow slip and splash among
The clatter of the rest.
Deep thoughts reflecting doom
Imagery of a man long dead
Delivered in this tumultuous room.
Give space to hear, the words are read
Bringing home the fear, the relentlessness of fate
I picture scenes long gone
Young men so far from home.
Grieve for the past, but is it now too late.
Godwill has chosen well, in me it strikes a chord
Opens my eyes and heart to know what was abroad.

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