Keith Douglas Poems
- Vergissmeinnicht Three weeks gone and the combatants ...
- How To Kill Under the parabola of a ball, a child turning ...
- The Knife Can I explain this to you? Your eyes are entrances...
- Villanelle Of Spring Bells Bells in the town alight with ...
- Cairo Jag Shall I get drunk or cut myself a piece of cake, a...
- Aristocrats: 'I Think I Am Bec...
- Desert Flowers Living in a wide landscape are the flowers ...
Douglas described his poetic style as 'extrospective'; that is, he focused on external impressions rather than inner emotions. The result is a poetry which, according to his detractors, can be callous in the midst of war's atrocities. For others, Douglas's work is powerful and unsettling because its exact descriptions eschew egotism and shift the burden of emotion from the poet to the reader. His best poetry is generally considered to rank alongside the twentieth-century's finest soldier-poetry.
In his poem, "Desert Flowers" (1943), Douglas mentions World War I poet Isaac Rosenberg claiming that he is only repeating what "Isaac" has already ... more »
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Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.
The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.
Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.
We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's ...