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1 POETS OF THE GREAT WAR By Ms Stubbs Downloaded from

2 Poetry from the First World War was written by soldiers who served at the Western Front. They saw the horrors of War first hand. They wrote about what they really saw. Their poems were published just after the war, so they were not censored. They are first hand and often unbiased sources.

3 WILFRED OWEN Wilfred Owen is one of the more famous War Poets. He was born March 18 th, He joined the Army in 1915 as an Officer in the Artists Rifles. Wilfred Owen served in some of the worst conditions during the following months.


5 Bent double like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge.

6 Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas shells dropping softly behind.

7 Gas! GAS! Quick, Boys!

8 …An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And floundring like a man in fire or lime… Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

9 In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

10 If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face like a devils sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile incurable sores on innocent tongues,

11 My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori.

12 November 4 th, 1918: Owen and his men went over the top. He was shot and killed by German machine guns on the banks of the Sambre-Ouse Canal. The War ended just a week later on November 11 th. Wilfred Owen was 25 years old.

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