To mark another poignant day of reflecting on the lives tragically lost in World War One, I thought I’d post Wilfred Owen’s 1914. I chose 1914 because it was one of his first poems I read when I first stumbled across poetry in school, and his poetry, graphic, disturbing and heart-rending, has stuck with me throughout the years. It’s also one of his first poems on the war. My thoughts go out to all those who suffered directly and indirectly as a result of such a horrendously tragic war. To those who gave their lives for us, and died in honour, for a greater world.
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