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Wilfred Owen

Data di nascita: 18. Marzo 1893
Data di morte: 4. Novembre 1918

Wilfred Edward Salter Owen è stato un poeta inglese.


„Quali candele potevamo tenere per accomiatarci da loro?“

„Il gas! Il gas! Svelti ragazzi! – Come in estasi annasparono, | infilandosi appena in tempo i goffi elmetti; | ma qualcuno continuava a gridare e a inciampare | dimenandosi come in mezzo alle fiamme o alla calce... |... Se solo potessi sentire a ogni sobbalzo, il sangue | che esce gorgogliando dai polmoni guasti di bava, | osceni come il cancro, amari come il rigurgito | di disgustose, incurabili piaghe su lingue innocenti.“


„Il gas! Il gas! Svelti ragazzi! – Come in estasi annasparono“

„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 disappointed shells 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.“
The War Poems

„Red lips are not so red as the stained stones kissed by the English dead.“ The Poems Of Wilfred Owen

„The old Lie:Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.“

„All a poet can do today is warn.“

„These men are worth your tears. You are not worth their merriment.“ The Poems Of Wilfred Owen


„What passing bells for these who die as cattle?
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifle's rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers, nor 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 patient minds,
And each, slow dusk a drawing down of blinds.“
The War Poems

„Escape? There is one unwatched way: your eyes. O Beauty! Keep me good that secret gate.“ The Poems Of Wilfred Owen

„Courage was mine, and I had mystery,
Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery:
To miss the march of this retreating world
Into vain citadels that are not walled.“

„This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War. Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.“ The Poems Of Wilfred Owen


„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 disappointed shells 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.“
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen

„Sleep mothered them; and left the twilight sad.“ The War Poems

„The universal pervasion of ugliness, hideous landscapes, vile noises, foul language... everything. Unnatural, broken, blasted; the distortion of the dead, whose unburiable bodies sit outside the dug outs all day, all night, the most execrable sights on earth. In poetry we call them the most glorious.“ The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen

„Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one“

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