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Aftermath

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon 1886 ( Matfield, Kent) – 1967 (Heytesbury, Wiltshire)

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked awhile at the crossing of city ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heavens of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same, - and War's a bloody game,...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.
 
Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz, -
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench, -
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, "Is it all going to happen again?"
 
Do you remember that hour of din before the attack, -
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads, - those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
 
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the Spring that you'll never forget.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Siegfried Loraine Sassoon

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon, (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) was an English poet, writer, and soldier. Decorated for bravery on the Western Front, he became one of the leading poets of the First World War. His poetry both described the horrors of the trenches and satirised the patriotic pretensions of those who, in Sassoon's view, were responsible for a jingoism-fuelled war. Sassoon became a focal point for dissent within the armed forces when he made a lone protest against the continuation of the war in his "Soldier's Declaration" of 1917, culminating in his admission to a military psychiatric hospital; this resulted in his forming a friendship with Wilfred Owen, who was greatly influenced by him. Sassoon later won acclaim for his prose work, notably his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the "Sherston trilogy".  more…

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