Dulce et Decorum est

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 gas-shells dropping softly 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 flound'ring 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
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

(Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - It is sweet and right to die for one's country.)



  1. What a lovely tribute!

  2. An excellent poem. I've posted my favourite WW1 poem over on my blog.

  3. I studied Wilfred Owen at A-level. His work made a big impression.

  4. You've chosen a great poem to commemorate the sacrifice of so many men and women.

  5. A great choice of poetry and a lovely tribute.

  6. I agree with the others, a lovely poem x

  7. sue aka snoozer9:20 am GMT

    I'm sorry Petit Filoux, I can't agree -it's not a lovely poem, it's a dreadful poem in the original sense of the word. Dreadful but brilliant.

  8. Its beautifully written by owen but it disguises the true horrors of the war..what those poor men went through and what the brave men and women of today are going through..words could never describe it but he somehow manages to do it in an artful way..
    my thoughts and prayers go to all our fallen heroes today..

  9. I don't think this poem disguises the horrors of war at all, quite the opposite. Sue's right it is not a lovely poem but it is very powerful.

    I was delighted to discover that both my sons have studied this poem at school and know what the Latin means.

  10. Powerful indeed, we can only get a hint of what was and is suffered .

    Is it sweet and right to die for ones country?

    We must never forget those who have.

  11. Great poem, great poet.

    Brave men, one and all. Remembered with thanks.

    Carol xx

  12. Anonymous6:11 pm GMT

    Excellent post. I haven't read it since my school days and now -- a mother of three with a bit more experience of life -- I can VERY humbly say that I 'get' Owen so much more.

    Thank you.

  13. Anonymous6:27 pm GMT

    A powerful tribute.
    Bee. x

  14. Wonderful post! I'm speechless.

  15. A very good choice of poem. It took me straight back to school too where we studied Wilfred Owen for our higher. Thankyou

  16. I agree with Sue - and though it talks of a war that is now nearly a hundred years ago, the emotions and the bitter sadness are as relevant today as when originally written.

  17. I remember studing this at school. The imagery is so strong. x

  18. This is very moving. I've not read it before. Thankyou.

  19. I wish that human kind would learn that killing each other is not the answer. I look forward to the day when we have more tolerance, patience, compassion and love for our fellow man. Probably living in lala land.
    Hugs Sandi xx

  20. One of my favourite ever poems.


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