War poets !

Here you have the names of some war poets, can you find a poem connected to WWI to share with us?

Herbert Read

Charles Sorley

Edward Thomas

Ivor Gurney

Isaac Rosenberg

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34 Responses to War poets !

  1. sofi teran says:

    Break of Day in the Trenches
    By Isaac Rosenberg

    The darkness crumbles away
    It is the same old druid Time as ever,
    Only a live thing leaps my hand,
    A queer sardonic rat,
    As I pull the parapet’s poppy
    To stick behind my ear.
    Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
    Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
    Now you have touched this English hand
    You will do the same to a German
    Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
    To cross the sleeping green between.
    It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
    Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
    Less chanced than you for life,
    Bonds to the whims of murder,
    Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
    The torn fields of France.
    What do you see in our eyes
    At the shrieking iron and flame
    Hurled through still heavens?
    What quaver -what heart aghast?
    Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
    Drop, and are ever dropping;
    But mine in my ear is safe,
    Just a little white with the dust.

  2. Joaquin Diaz Walker says:

    A Call To Action
    By Charles Sorley

    They girt their loins up and they trod
    The path of danger, rough and high;
    For Action, Action was their god,
    “Be up and doing” was their cry.

    A thousand years have passed away;
    The sands of life are running low;
    The world is sleeping out her day;
    The day is dying–be it so.

    A thousand years have passed amain;
    The sands of life are running thin;
    Thought is our leader–Thought is vain;
    Speech is our goddess–Speech is sin.

    II

    It needs no thought to understand,
    No speech to tell, nor sight to see
    That there has come upon our land
    The curse of Inactivity.

    We do not see the vital point
    That ’tis the eighth, most deadly, sin
    To wail, “The world is out of joint”—
    And not attempt to put it in.

    We see the swollen stream of crime
    Flow hourly past us, thick and wide;
    We gaze with interest for a time,
    And pass by on the other side.

    We see the tide of human sin
    Rush roaring past our very door,
    And scarcely one man plunges in
    To drag the drowning to the shore.

    We, dull and dreamy, stand and blink,
    Forgetting glory, strength and pride,
    Half–listless watchers on the brink,
    Half–ruined victims of the tide.

    III

    We question, answer, make defence,
    We sneer, we scoff, we criticize,
    We wail and moan our decadence,
    Enquire, investigate, surmise;

    We preach and prattle, peer and pry
    And fit together two and two:
    We ponder, argue, shout, swear, lie–
    We will not, for we cannot, DO.

    Pale puny soldiers of the pen,
    Absorbed in this your inky strife,
    Act as of old, when men were men,
    England herself and life yet life.

  3. Belen Irazusta says:

    Sister
    Though this poem is a tribute to one particular nurse it becomes a universal tribute to all nurses working in war zones. It is Mike Subritzky’s most prolifically published poem having been published in more than 20 anthologies worldwide

    SISTER
    (A tribute to Pam M-T and all the Kiwi Nurses)
    Young man, you ask me who I am,

    and why I wear this faded yellow ribbon…

    I am the woman, who held your dying uncle’s hand,

    and wrote a letter once that broke your grandma’s heart.

    I am she, who met the ‘Dust-Off’ at the door,

    and carried bloodied, broken bodies through to triage.

    Then cut through muddied boots and bloody combat gear,

    and washed away the blood and fear and jungle.

    I kept the faith when even hope was lost,

    and cried within, as young lives ebbed away.

    Those hours when death, frosted dying eyes,

    mine, was the last smile many young men saw.

    I have the voice, that blinded eyes remember,

    and the touch of reassurance through the pain.

    In darkest night when combat would return,

    it was my name that many soldiers called.

    I have dressed their wounds, and wiped away their tears,

    and often read them letters sent from mum.

    I hugged them close, and willed each one my strength,

    and smiled and prayed that each boy made it home.

    And here today, you ask me who I am…

    I am the Nurse, who served in Vietnam.

  4. Belen Irazusta says:

    i like pakas poem because i think that is very nice, but not nice in the sence that is a happy poem.i think also that the poem is very sad because there it explains to us how the life of a soldier was and it was not a good one.

  5. Maria Jose Tear says:

    Wilfred Gibson- “back”

    They ask me where I’ve been,
    And what I’ve done and seen.
    But what can I reply
    Who know it wasn’t I,
    But someone just like me,
    Who went across the sea
    And with my head and hands
    Killed men in foreign lands…
    Though I must bear the blame,
    Because he bore my name.

    This is the coment of Nicolas, I found this opem very interesting because it´s of a man who went to war “Who went across the sea
    And with my head and hands Killed men in foreign lands” and killed a lot of people, but he didn´t want to be blame for that because in my opinion he couldn´t belive what he did, Kill someone, He just didn´t want because in real life, before he was sent to war, he wouldn´t kill anybody so in war was another person and as he came back he became the other person again and he can´t belive it.

  6. sebastian, francisco y milagros says:

    we liked the poem that Nicolas Araya posted because it shows that the soldier regrates of what he made. And it leaves you a message that is not good going to the war. As young people think.

  7. Antonia Flores Piran says:

    I read some of the poems and the one I like the most was the one that Emi Molmenti posted.I like it because It explain what Ivor Gourney saw in the war and is very interesant. I also like the question that emi marked “Are these the heroes—these?” Is a very good questin because I don`t think that the people that went to war are heroes.

    To England– a Note By Ivor Gourney.

    I watched the boys of England where they went
    Through mud and water to do appointed things.
    See one a stake, and one wire-netting brings,
    And one comes slowly under a burden bent
    Of ammunition. Though the strength be spent
    They “carry on” under the shadowing wings
    Of Death the ever-present. And hark, one sings
    Although no joy from the grey skies be lent.

    Are these the heroes—these? have kept from you
    The power of primal savagery so long?
    Shall break the devil’s legions? These they are
    Who do in silence what they might boast to do;
    In the height of battle tell the world in song
    How they do hate and fear the face of War.

  8. Maria Jose Tear says:

    To Germany by Charles Sorley
    You are blind like us. Your hurt no man designed,
    And no man claimed the conquest of your land.
    But gropers both through fields of thought confined
    We stumble and we do not understand.
    You only saw your future bigly planned,
    And we, the tapering paths of our own mind,
    And in each others dearest ways we stand,
    And hiss and hate. And the blind fight the blind.

    When it is peace, then we may view again
    With new won eyes each other’s truer form and wonder.
    Grown more loving kind and warm
    We’ll grasp firm hands and laugh at the old pain,
    When it is peace. But until peace, the storm,
    The darkness and the thunder and the rain.

  9. agustin says:

    IN THE TRENCHES, BY ISAAC ROSENBERG

    I snatched two poppies
    From the parapet’s ledge,
    Two bright red poppies
    That winked on the ledge.
    Behind my ear
    I stuck one through,
    One blood red poppy
    I gave to you.

    The sandbags narrowed
    And screwed out our jest,
    And tore the poppy
    You had on your breast …
    Down – a shell – O! Christ,
    I am choked … safe … dust blind, I
    See trench floor poppies
    Strewn. Smashed you lie.

    • Federico Tear and Joaquin Olaizola. says:

      It is a good and interesting poem. He is a great war poet. It is obvious that is a war poem because trenches were a big characteristic of the WW1 becuase they apperead in a lot of war poems.

  10. juan cruz says:

    THE YELLOW GAS
    by Christopher Brennan

    The yellow gas is fired from street to street
    past rows of heartless homes and hearths unlit,
    dead churches, and the unending pavement beat
    by crowds – say rather, haggard shades that flit

    Round nightly haunts of their delusive dream,
    where’er our paradisal instinct starves: –
    till on the utmost post, its sinuous gleam
    crawls in the oily water of the wharves;

    Where Homer’s sea loses his keen breath, hemm’d
    what place rebellious piles were driven down –
    the priestlike waters to this task condemn’d
    to wash the roots of the inhuman town! –

    Where fat and strange-eyed fish that never saw
    the outer deep, broad halls of sapphire light,
    glut in the city’s draught each nameless maw:
    – and there, wide-eyed unto the soulless night,

    Methinks a drown’d maid’s face might fitly show
    what we have slain, a life that had been free,
    clean, large, nor thus tormented – even so
    as are the skies, the salt winds and the sea.

    Ay, we had saved our days and kept them whole,
    to whom no part in our old joy remains,
    had felt those bright winds sweeping thro’ our soul
    and all the keen sea tumbling in our veins,

    Had thrill’d to harps of sunrise, when the height
    whitens, and dawn dissolves in virgin tears,
    or caught, across the hush’d ambrosial night,
    the choral music of the swinging spheres,

    Or drunk the silence if nought else – But no!
    and from each rotting soul distil in dreams
    a poison, o’er the old earth creeping slow,
    that kills the flowers and curdles the live streams,

    That taints the fresh breath of re-risen day
    and reeks across the pale bewildered moon:
    – shall we be cleans’d and how? I only pray,
    red flame or deluge, may that end be soon!

  11. Break of Day in the Trenches BY: ISSAC ROSEMBERG
    The darkness crumbles away
    It is the same old druid Time as ever,
    Only a live thing leaps my hand,
    A queer sardonic rat,
    As I pull the parapet’s poppy
    To stick behind my ear.
    Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
    Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
    Now you have touched this English hand
    You will do the same to a German
    Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
    To cross the sleeping green between.
    It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
    Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
    Less chanced than you for life,
    Bonds to the whims of murder,
    Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
    The torn fields of France.
    What do you see in our eyes
    At the shrieking iron and flame
    Hurled through still heavens?
    What quaver -what heart aghast?
    Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
    Drop, and are ever dropping;
    But mine in my ear is safe,
    Just a little white with the dust.

  12. Belen Gay says:

    When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead (1915)
    When you see millions of the mouthless dead
    Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
    Say not soft things as other men have said,
    That you’ll remember. For you need not so.
    Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
    It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
    Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
    Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
    Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
    “yet many a better one has died before.”
    Then, scanning all the overcrowded mass, should you
    Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
    It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
    Great death has made all this for evermore.
    Who wrote this poem?

  13. Mili Zubizarreta says:

    “How to Die”
    By: Siegfried Sassoon

    Dark clouds are smouldering into red
    While down the craters morning burns.
    The dying soldier shifts his head
    To watch the glory that returns;
    He lifts his fingers toward the skies
    Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
    Radiance reflected in his eyes,
    And on his lips a whispered name.

    You’d think, to hear some people talk,
    That lads go West with sobs and curses,
    And sullen faces white as chalk,
    Hankering for wreaths and tombs and hearses.
    But they’ve been taught the way to do it
    Like Christian soldiers; not with haste
    And shuddering groans; but passing through it
    With due regard for decent taste.

    • juan cruz says:

      It is a very good poem and in the second paragraph said that the soldiers were like crazy because the explosions. Some persons finished suicided becuse they were very scared.

    • Justo says:

      I didn’t like the theme of the poem, but I liked how the author descrives how the soldiers die, and how they get scared by listening and seeing bombs.And like Juan Cruz says there are a lot of veterans of war that, for example, get very scared when they hear fireworks and som directly commite suicide.

  14. fran okecki says:

    Herbert Read (1893-1968): “The Happy Warrior”

    His wild heart beats with painful sobs,
    His strin’d hands clench an ice-cold rifle,
    His aching jaws grip a hot parch’d tongue,
    His wide eyes search unconsciously.

    He cannot shriek.

    W.N.Hodgson (1893-1916)
    “Before Action”

    By all the glories of the day
    And the cool evening’s benison,
    By that last sunset touch that lay
    Upon the hills where day was done,
    By beauty lavisghly outpoured
    And blessings carelessly received,
    By all the days that I have lived
    Make me a solider, Lord.
    By all of man’s hopes and fears,
    And all the wonders poets sing,
    The laughter of unclouded years,
    And every sad and lovely thing;
    By the romantic ages stored
    With high endeavor that was his,
    By all his mad catastrophes
    Make me a man, O Lord.
    I, that on my familiar hill
    Saw with uncomprehending eyes
    A hundred of Thy sunsets spill
    Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice,
    Ere the sun swings his noonday sword
    Must say goodbye to all of this;–
    By all delights that I shall miss,
    Help me to die, O Lord.

    Bloody saliva
    Dribbles down his shapeless jacket.

    I saw him stab
    And stab again
    A well-killed Boche.

    This is the happy warrior,
    This is he…

  15. joaquin olaizola says:

    As the Team’s Head- Brass by Edward Thomas

    The lovers disappeared into the wood.
    I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm
    That strewed the angle of the fallow, and
    Watched the plough narrowing a yellow square
    Of charlock. Every time the horses turned
    Instead of treading me down, the ploughman leaned
    Upon the handles to say or ask a word,
    About the weather, next about the war.
    Scraping the share he faced towards the wood,
    And screwed along the furrow till the brass flashed
    Once more.

    The blizzard felled the elm whose crest
    I sat in, by a woodpecker’s round hole,
    The ploughman said. ‘When will they take it away? ‘
    ‘When the war’s over.’ So the talk began –
    One minute and an interval of ten,
    A minute more and the same interval.
    ‘Have you been out? ‘ ‘No.’ ‘And don’t want to, perhaps? ‘
    ‘If I could only come back again, I should.
    I could spare an arm, I shouldn’t want to lose
    A leg. If I should lose my head, why, so,
    I should want nothing more…Have many gone
    From here? ‘ ‘Yes.’ ‘Many lost? ‘ ‘Yes, a good few.
    Only two teams work on the farm this year.
    One of my mates is dead. The second day
    In France they killed him. It was back in March,
    The very night of the blizzard, too. Now if
    He had stayed here we should have moved the tree.’
    ‘And I should not have sat here. Everything
    Would have been different. For it would have been
    Another world.’ ‘Ay, and a better, though
    If we could see all all might seem good.’ Then
    The lovers came out of the wood again:
    The horses started and for the last time
    I watched the clods crumble and topple over
    After the ploughshare and the stumbling team.

  16. Nicolas Araya says:

    Wilfred Gibson- “back”

    They ask me where I’ve been,
    And what I’ve done and seen.
    But what can I reply
    Who know it wasn’t I,
    But someone just like me,
    Who went across the sea
    And with my head and hands
    Killed men in foreign lands…
    Though I must bear the blame,
    Because he bore my name.

    I liked this poem because it’s about a person who went to war but when comes back, he regrets about it. He says that the man who went to kill all that men wasn’t him.
    What a wonderful poem Nico! Thanks for this contrubution!

    • Juani Lopez Vargas and Nico Araya says:

      We liked this comment because we felt that many soldiers who came back from war felt this way. It wasn’t a good sensation for them becuse thy felt very guilty

    • Paka Müller says:

      I like this poem, because i like the simple way to express the sad feeling of blame in a short stanza. I also like it because it has rhymes, like we saw in class: a-a b-b

  17. Sebastian Borda says:

    The Gallows

    There was a weasel lived in the sun
    With all his family,
    Till a keeper shot him with his gun
    And hung him up on a tree,
    Where he swings in the wind and rain,
    In the sun and in the snow,
    Without pleasure, without pain,
    On the dead oak tree bough.

    There was a crow who was no sleeper,
    But a thief and a murderer
    Till a very late hour; and this keeper
    Made him one of the things that were,
    To hang and flap in rain and wind,
    In the sun and in the snow.
    There are no more sins to be sinned
    On the dead oak tree bough.

    There was a magpie, too,
    Had a long tongue and a long tail;
    He could talk and do –
    But what did that avail?
    He, too, flaps in the wind and rain
    Alongside weasel and crow,
    Without pleasue, without pain,
    On the dead oak tree bough.

    And many other beasts
    And birds, skin, bone, and feather,
    Have been taken from their feasts
    And hung up there together,
    To swing and have endless leisure
    In the sun and in the snow,
    Without pain, without pleasure,
    On the dead oak tree bough.

    BY Edward Thomas
    Is the poem about war? I can’t really see it. Can you help me?

  18. The Combe by Edward Thomas

    the Combe was ever dark, ancient and dark.
    Its mouth is stopped with brambles, thorn, and briar;
    And no one scrambles over the sliding chalk
    By beech and yew and perishing juniper
    Down the half precipices of its sides, with roots
    And rabbit holes for steps. The sun of Winter,
    The moon of Summer, and all the singing birds
    Except the missel-thrush that loves juniper,
    Are quite shut out. But far more ancient and dark
    The Combe looks since they killed the badger there,
    Dug him out and gave him to the hounds,
    That most ancient Briton of English beasts

    i found very interesting this poem. i like the way how the war is exlain.

    • Belen Gay and Milagros Alezzandrini says:

      it is a very clear poem because it explains war very well with strange words but there are some words that we don`t understand.

  19. Antonia Flores Piran says:

    Break of Day in the Trenches.By Isaac Rosemberg.

    The darkness crumbles away
    It is the same old druid Time as ever,
    Only a live thing leaps my hand,
    A queer sardonic rat,
    As I pull the parapet’s poppy
    To stick behind my ear.
    Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
    Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
    Now you have touched this English hand
    You will do the same to a German
    Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
    To cross the sleeping green between.
    It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
    Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
    Less chanced than you for life,
    Bonds to the whims of murder,
    Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
    The torn fields of France.
    What do you see in our eyes
    At the shrieking iron and flame
    Hurled through still heavens?
    What quaver -what heart aghast?
    Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
    Drop, and are ever dropping;
    But mine in my ear is safe,
    Just a little white with the dust.

  20. Antonia Flores Piran says:

    Here I found a poem written by a soldier from the WW1.In the poem, the soldier write what the soldiers felt, thought and did, and he also explain his life at war.

    Use it for a guide.
    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  21. Emilia Molmenti says:

    To England– a Note By Ivor Gourney

    I watched the boys of England where they went
    Through mud and water to do appointed things.
    See one a stake, and one wire-netting brings,
    And one comes slowly under a burden bent
    Of ammunition. Though the strength be spent
    They “carry on” under the shadowing wings
    Of Death the ever-present. And hark, one sings
    Although no joy from the grey skies be lent.

    Are these the heroes—these? have kept from you
    The power of primal savagery so long?
    Shall break the devil’s legions? These they are
    Who do in silence what they might boast to do;
    In the height of battle tell the world in song
    How they do hate and fear the face of War.

    I liked this poem. and I realised it was about war because it says like are these heroes? and I realised that it was like we talked about in class that the youth tought they would be heroes when the came backfromf war but they didn’t know that they were going to be heroes if they come back and a very interesting line is “How they do hate and fear the face of War” becuase he discribed how were the soldiers that was they were with hate and fear of war

  22. Federico Tear says:

    Suddenly into the still air burst hudding
    And thudding, and cold fear possessed me all,
    On the grey slopes there, where winter in sullen brooding
    Hung between height and depth of the ugly fall
    Of Heaven to earth; and the thudding was illness’ own.
    But still a hope I kept that were we there going over,
    I, in the line, I should not fail, but take recover
    From others’ courage, and not as coward be known.

    No flame we saw, the noise and the dread alone
    Was battle to us; men were enduring there such
    And such things, in wire tangled, to shatters blown.
    Courage kept, but ready to vanish at first touch.
    Fear, but just held. Poets were luckier once
    In the hot fray swallowed and some magnificence.

    This is a poem from Ivor Gurney.

  23. Francisca Müller says:

    August 1914

    What in our lives is burnt
    In the fire of this?
    The heart’s dear granary?
    The much we shall miss?

    Three lives hath one life –
    Iron, honey, gold.
    The gold, the honey gone –
    Left is the hard and cold.

    Iron are our lives
    Molten right through our youth.
    A burnt space through ripe fields
    A fair mouth’s broken tooth

    When I saw the tittle of this poem, I figured that it was about war, because of the date. It’s very nice the poem. It’s not too long, but in few words explains you what you could feel at war.

  24. Nacho Rela says:

    BREAK OF DAY IN THE TRENCHES by ISAAC ROSENBERG
    I liked this poem because it talks about the end of war, something really beatiful but from another point of view you have to rebuild your life
    The darkness crumbles away.
    It is the same old Druid Time as ever.
    Only a live thing leaps my hand,
    A queer sardonic rat,
    As I pull the parapet’s poppy
    To stick behind my ear.
    Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
    Your cosmopolitan sympathies.
    Now you have touched this English hand
    You will do the same to a German
    Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
    To cross the sleeping green between.
    It seems, odd thing, you grin as you pass
    Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
    Less chanced than you for life,
    Bonds to the whims of murder,
    Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
    The torn fields of France.
    What do you see in our eyes
    At the shrieking iron and flame
    Hurl’d through still heavens?
    What quaver—what heart aghast?
    Poppies whose roots are in man’s veins
    Drop, and are ever dropping,
    But mine in my ear is safe—
    Just a little white with the dust.
    Beautiful poem! Which words do you associate with war?

    • Nacho Rela says:

      -parapets
      -To cross the sleeping. this means the people that died at war.
      -The torn fields of France. the injured land of france with holes of bombs and with bodies.

  25. Lucas Demaria says:

    Most of the poems I found were in a very difficult language, but I liked the poem “When you see millions of mouthless dead” by Charles Sorley, which he wrote in 1916

    “When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead
    By Charles Sorley

    When you see millions of the mouthless dead

    Across your dreams in pale battalions go,
    Say not soft things as other men have said,
    That you’ll remember. For you need not so.
    Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know
    It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
    Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow.
    Nor honour. It is easy to be dead.
    Say only this, “They are dead.” Then add thereto,
    “Yet many a better one has died before.”
    Then, scanning all the o’ercrowded mass, should you
    Perceive one face that you loved heretofore,
    It is a spook. None wears the face you knew.
    Great death has made all his for evermore.”

    Source: http://www.world-war-pictures.com/war-poem/When-You-See-Millions-of-the-Mouthless-Dead/117/

    Thanks for your contribution! But this post is for Senior I!

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