Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature: over 400,000 monthly users

Siegfried Sassoon: ‘The Hero’

‘Jack fell as he’d have wished,’ the mother said,
And folded up the letter that she’d read.
‘The Colonel writes so nicely.’ Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. ‘We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.’ Then her face was bowed.
 
Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He’d told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy’
Because he’d been so brave, her glorious boy. 

He thought how ‘Jack’, cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he’d tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair. 
--
Public Domain
Siegfried_Sassoon_by_George_Charles_Beresford_(1915)

Siegfried Sassoon (1886 – 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 satirized the patriotic pretensions of those who were responsible for the war. Sassoon became a focal point for dissent within the armed forces when he protested the war in his “Soldier’s Declaration” of 1917, culminating in his admission to a mental hospital. There he became friends with Wilfred Owen who was greatly influenced by him. Sassoon later won acclaim for his three-volume fictionalised autobiography, collectively known as the “Sherston trilogy”. 

One comment on “Siegfried Sassoon: ‘The Hero’

  1. Rose Mary Boehm
    April 23, 2021

    Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Rose Mary Boehm Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Enter your email address to follow Vox Populi and receive new posts by email.

Join 12,184 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 4,340,877 hits

Archives

%d bloggers like this: