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DULCE ET DECORUM EST -Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) Famous Poet

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 tried, outstripped Five-Nines 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 flound’ring 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.

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

About poetreecreations

I am an author writer publisher web administrator I run poetry workshops in the community. My published Manners childrens poetry book can be found at

7 responses

  1. lovely poem, we made a recital regarding this poem back in highschool and it’s a really powerful poems, which narrates the terrors of the war


  2. I love this poem. It’s one of my favourites and I always think it captures the aspects of the First World War so well. Thanks.


  3. Lovely poem,read it.Also please visit our website and review us.


  4. A friend just recited “In Flanders Field” yesterday as we were talking about the Veterans Day holiday celebrated tomorrow here in the United States. As he said, so sad and so true.


  5. I’ve reblogged this, thanks for printing this powerful poem – I read it out to my husband and was in tears by the end. I’ve visited a war graves cemetery in Arnhem, never forgotten the rows of graves and all young men.


  6. Reblogged this on THE CRAZY CRONE'S ARTY-FARTY STUDIO and commented:
    The truth about war – old men and women send young men and women to suffer and die terrible deaths to feed the profit machine of the military-industrial complex. No more wars!


  7. What an amazing poem this is. It tears at the heartstrings and raises multiple emotions. The title alone brings such a lump to my throat.


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