Treasure Island

Keith Douglas

(January 24, 1920 – June 9, 1944 / Tunbridge Wells, Kent)

Quotations

  • ''How can I live among this gentle
    absolescent breed of heroes, and not weep?
    Unicorns, almost,
    for they are falling into two legends
    in which their stupidity and chivalry
    are celebrated. Each, fool and herb, will be an immortal.''
    Keith Douglas (1920-1944), British poet. Aristocrats (l. 9-14). . . Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry, The. Richard Ellmann and Robert O'Clair, eds. (2d ed., 1988) W. W. Norton & Company.
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  • ''For here the lover and killer are mingled
    who had one body and one heart.
    And death who had the soldier singled
    has done the lover mortal hurt.''
    Keith Douglas (1920-1944), British poet. Vergissmeinnicht (l. 21-24). . . Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, ed. (1973) Oxford University Press.

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How To Kill

Under the parabola of a ball,
a child turning into a man,
I looked into the air too long.
The ball fell in my hand, it sang
in the closed fist: Open Open
Behold a gift designed to kill.

Now in my dial of glass appears
the soldier who is going to die.

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