Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"True poets must be truthful"

......Wilfred Owen

This YouTube movie originates from Voices [Education Project] whose mission is to "Amplify the voices of veterans and civilian witnesses to war, in order to heal the wounds of war and lay the basis for a more peaceful world."
"Difference can lead to dialogue and growth rather than violence." To know more about this see their website:

This clip sets very well the context to Owen's poetry.

Smile, Smile, Smile (by Wilfrid Owen)

Head to limp head, the sunk-eyed wounded scanned
Yesterday's Mail; the casualties (typed small)
And (large) Vast Booty from our Latest Haul.
Also, they read of Cheap Homes, not yet planned;
For, said the paper, "When this war is done
The men's first instinct will be making homes.
Meanwhile their foremost need is aerodromes,
It being certain war has just begun.
Peace would do wrong to our undying dead, --
The sons we offered might regret they died
If we got nothing lasting in their stead.
We must be solidly indemnified.
Though all be worthy Victory which all bought,
We rulers sitting in this ancient spot
Would wrong our very selves if we forgot
The greatest glory will be theirs who fought,
Who kept this nation in integrity."
Nation? -- The half-limbed readers did not chafe
But smiled at one another curiously
Like secret men who know their secret safe.
This is the thing they know and never speak,
That England one by one had fled to France
(Not many elsewhere now save under France).
Pictures of these broad smiles appear each week,
And people in whose voice real feeling rings
Say: How they smile! They're happy now, poor things.

23rd September 1918.

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