13 November 2007

Remembrance Day

On Sunday (11/11/07) I was actually in a town called Brugge, or Bruges if you are French. It's in Belgium , which used to be called Flanders. Where poppies grow wild, and have become the symbol of the millions of soldiers killed in the first world war. Here's a poem. I had to do it year 12, and it was crap then, but it kind of makes more sense now.

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 for them from prayers or 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 goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of silent minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

-Wilfred Owen


J said...

Does this also bring back memories of having to read anti-war poems at street corners and in old people's homes in year 8??

BSharp said...

Aagh! I so do. How embarrassing to have friends of many years shatter your veneer of aloof cool commentator....