Poem of a dead soldier: “Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori” -Homer, translated: “It is sweet and honourable to die for one’s country.”

“Dulce Et Decorum Est” is a poem by Wilfred Owen. Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 and died a soldier in action in 1918.

Dulce Et Decorum Est

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.
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 tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! — An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering 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.

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

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 devil’s 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,—

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.

Wilfred Owen

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4 Responses

  1. […] This is the saddest thing I have read in a very long time. It is the story of a woman who had three sons serving in Iraq, one of which was accidentally electrocuted in his army base shower due to “improper grounding.” And he is not the first to have died in this manner on our bases in Iraq. It makes me sick for our brave young men and women to know that this was allowed to happen for the past several years. Our soldiers are true heroes, they deserve better. […]

  2. this is one of my favorite oems apart from wb yeats the lake ise of innis free because it is very descritive and the tile is quite decving as u would think the author belives in that old sayin but in the last stanza and ine he states the opposite and its also descriptive about the battle feild of ww1 which was sad as al those peole lost there ife

  3. Dave Eberhardt (poured blood on draft files with him in 1967- the “Baltimore 4” action)

    “Hi from the Unknown Soldier. I threw away my rifle and went swimming.

    You may have seen me slipping away from the column. Shsssssh.

    If in a desert “theatre” I leave to go look at the night sky with all its stars- Aldeberan (sp?), Rigel, Spica, Eta Carinae.

    I am a statue to the Noble Deserter in the park.

    Want to join us? Then practice non-violence, resist war, and don’t forget to move to the left.

    Forgive them mother for they know not what they do.

    Heroes to follow? Tom Lewis, war resisters, Dan and Phil Berrigan,”Plowshares” activists, M. Gandhi, ML King, AJ Muste, Dorothy Day, Quakers, Norman Morrison, Rachel Corrie,

    Authors to read H Thoreau, Dalai Lama, Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, Wilfred Owen, Gary Snyder etc.

    feel free to read at any funeral/memorial- my best to all his friends and loved ones

  4. […] Reagan! A Merry Christmas to all!!! 🙂 Posted on November 27, 2008 by westtnliving U.S. soldiers may be home for the holidays this year, as ‘Someone’ reported today that U.S. […]

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