Tag: Great War

August 1914

August 1914 What in our lives is burnt In the fire of this? The heart’s dear granary? The much we shall miss? Three lives hath one life – Iron, honey, gold. The gold, the honey gone – Left is the […] 

MCMXIV

MCMXIV Those long uneven lines Standing as patiently As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached archaic faces Grinning as if it were all An August Bank Holiday lark; […] 

The Poltroon

Poltroon – the very word is like a … what? a.) A North American mammal of the raccoon family known for its habit of rooting for grubs in the undergrowth of deciduous forests b.) A metal or earthenware pot typically having […] 

Blackbird

Blackbirds are notorious for being able to mimic the sounds they hear as they hop about the celestial chimney pots of suburbia. Ice cream van jingles, phone ring tones, car alarms and ambulance sirens – they can do the lot. […] 

Song of the Dark Ages

Song of the Dark Ages We digged our trenches on the down    Beside old barrows, and the wet White chalk we shovelled from below; It lay like drifts of thawing snow    On parados and parapet: Until a pick […] 

In Parenthesis: Part 1

This writing has to do with some things I saw, felt and was part of. The period covered begins in early December 1915 and ends in July 1916. – David Jones, in the preface to In Parenthesis 1937 In Parenthesis […] 

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915)

In Memoriam (Easter, 1915) The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood This Eastertide call into mind the men, Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should Have gathered them and will do never again.     by […] 

Thaw

Thaw by Edward Thomas Over the land freckled with snow half-thawed The speculating rooks at their nests cawed And saw from elm-tops, delicate as flowers of grass, What we below could not see, Winter pass. Thomas wrote all his poetry […] 

Art and Our Times

How will artists and writers portray this Trumpian time of disillusion, delusion and deception in which we now live? All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful. – Wilfred Owen Perhaps […] 

About Suffering They Were Never Wrong

About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood Its human position: how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;             […] 

Treasons Greetings: The Ghosts of Happy Holidays Past

It’s politically incorrect to say Happy Holidays these days. We must all say Merry Christmas. No word on the acceptability of Treasons Greetings so I’ll play it safe and stick to Christmas. Religious freedom – it’s a wonderful thing. Just […] 

The Barrage Lifts

After forty five years it’s time to re-wire! And the start of my re-wirement coincides with the centenary of the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Tomorrow – July 1st 1916 at 7.30 am  – 100 years ago. […] 

Happy New Year

A small selection of New Year’s greetings from a a century ago.    

1915 and The Midnight of the Nations

On Christmas Day 1915 David Lloyd George the former radical liberal,then Minister of Munitions and soon to be Prime Minister addressed a crowd of restless shop stewards and trade unionists in St. Andrew’s Hall, Glasgow. He was there to try […] 

Unreal City: November 11th 1919

London on November 11th 1919 – a two minute silence at 11 o’clock to observe the first anniversary of the end great war. This photograph by an unknown artist conveys the collective grief of a people. To stand in that […] 

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