englishverse.com
HomePoetsPoemsBooks
 

Wilfred Owen

Smile, Smile, Smile

Head to limp head, the sunk-eyed wounded scanned
Yesterday's Mail; the casualties (typed small)
And (large) Vast Booty from our Latest Haul.
Also, they read of Cheap Homes, not yet planned;
For, said the paper, "When this war is done
The men's first instinct will be making homes.
Meanwhile their foremost need is aerodromes,
It being certain war has just begun.
Peace would do wrong to our undying dead, —
The sons we offered might regret they died
If we got nothing lasting in their stead.
We must be solidly indemnified.
Though all be worthy Victory which all bought,
We rulers sitting in this ancient spot
Would wrong our very selves if we forgot
The greatest glory will be theirs who fought,
Who kept this nation in integrity."
Nation? — The half-limbed readers did not chafe
But smiled at one another curiously
Like secret men who know their secret safe.
This is the thing they know and never speak,
That England one by one had fled to France
(Not many elsewhere now save under France).
Pictures of these broad smiles appear each week,
And people in whose voice real feeling rings
Say: How they smile! They're happy now, poor things.


23rd September 1918.

 
Sponsored link
To advertise here, please contact us.
 
About the poet
Wilfred Owen
 
By the same poet
Strange Meeting
Greater Love
Apologia pro Poemate Meo
The Show
Mental Cases
Parable of the Old Men and the Young
Arms and the Boy
Anthem for Doomed Youth
The Send-off
Insensibility
Dulce et Decorum est
The Sentry
The Dead-Beat
Exposure
Spring Offensive
The Chances
S. I. W.
Futility
Conscious
A Terre
Wild with all Regrets
Disabled
The End
 
Related books
Wilfred Owen at amazon.com


Home  .  Poets  .  Poems  .  Books  .  Site preferences  .  Contact

English  .  Français

© 2003-2006 Waverley Internet Design. All rights reserved.