Counter-Attack and Other Poems

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He soon became horrified by the realities of war, and the tone of his writing changed completely.


Sassoon's periods of duty on the Western Front were marked by exceptionally brave actions. The war had brought Sassoon into contact with men from less advantaged backgrounds, and he had developed Socialist sympathies. The "man" question in international relations Marysia Zalewski , Jane L. Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. Trieste Publishing has a massive catalogue of classic book titles.

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Books from that period are often spoiled by imperfections that did not exist in the original. You have said the things well enough. Now let us nevermore say another word of whatever little may be good in war for the individual who has a heart to be steeled.

It is dangerous even to speak of how here and there the individual may gain some hardship of soul by it. For war is hell and those who institute it are criminals.

Were there anything to say for it, it should not be said for its spiritual disasters far outweigh any of its advantages. War doesn't ennoble: it degrades. The words of Barbusse placed at the beginning of this book should be engraved over the doors of every war office of every State in the world.

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  8. While war is a possibility man is little better than a savage and civilisation the mere moments of rest between a succession of nightmares. It is to help to end this horror that Siegfried Sassoon and the many others who feel like him have continued to fight as after the publication of this book he fought in Palestine and in France.

    Counter-Attack and Other Poems by Siegfried Sassoon

    You civilized persons who read this book not only as a poet but as a soldier I beg of you not to turn from it. Read it again and again till its words become part of your consciousness.

    It was written by a man for mankind's sake, that 'that which is humane' might no more be an empty phrase, that the words of Blake might blossom to a new meaning-- Thou art a man, God is no more, Thine own humanity learn to adore. New York City, Nov. They, who have beaten down The stale despair of night, must now renew Their desolation in the truce of dawn, Murdering the livid hours that grope for peace.

    Yet these, who cling to life with stubborn hands, Can grin through storms of death and find a gap In the clawed, cruel tangles of his defence.

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    They march from safety, and the bird-sung joy Of grass-green thickets, to the land where all Is ruin, and nothing blossoms but the sky That hastens over them where they endure Sad, smoking, flat horizons, reeking woods, And foundered trench-lines volleying doom for doom. O my brave brown companions, when your souls Flock silently away, and the eyeless dead Shame the wild beast of battle on the ridge, Death will stand grieving in that field of war Since your unvanquished hardihood is spent. And through some mooned Valhalla there will pass Battalions and battalions, scarred from hell; The unreturning army that was youth; The legions who have suffered and are dust.

    Things seemed all right at first.

    Counter-Attack, and Other Poems

    We held their line, With bombers posted, Lewis guns well placed, And clink of shovels deepening the shallow trench. The place was rotten with dead; green clumsy legs High-booted, sprawled and grovelled along the saps; And trunks, face downward, in the sucking mud, Wallowed like trodden sand-bags loosely filled; And naked sodden buttocks, mats of hair, Bulged, clotted heads slept in the plastering slime. And then the rain began,--the jolly old rain!

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