Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Remorse by Siegfried Sassoon

Now here is a poem with legs, not necessarily the best by Siegfried Sassoon, but a poem with limitations - pace, meter, rhyme - something of the essential features that mark out a poem from a paragraph.

Sasson was one of the famous WWI British poets, who fought, was wounded, sent home to recover, then back to fight some more and yet survive:

Remorse *
by Siegfried Sassoon
Lost in the swamp and welter of the pit,
He flounders off the duck-boards; only he knows
Each flash and spouting crash,--each instant lit
When gloom reveals the streaming rain. He goes
Heavily, blindly on. And, while he blunders,
"Could anything be worse than this?"--he wonders,
Remembering how he saw those Germans run,
Screaming for mercy among the stumps of trees:
Green-faced, they dodged and darted: there was one
Livid with terror, clutching at his knees. . .
Our chaps were sticking 'em like pigs . . . "O hell!"
He thought--"there's things in war one dare not tell
Poor father sitting safe at home, who reads
Of dying heroes and their deathless deeds."

* Counter-Attack and Other Poems, by Siegfried Sassoon (Dutton and Co. 1918, p. 54) 

No comments:

Post a Comment