Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In Honor of Veterans' Day

Anthem for a Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

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.


  1. Anbo, these lines really stuck with me. So much so that today, while I was rereading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I recognized one of the lines from this poem in a letter one of the society members wrote to Juliet. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Wow, I didn't realize that! I just think it is a beautiful and tragic poem. How is Guernsey the second time around?