Wilfred Owen

(1893-1918 / Shropshire / England)

1914 - Poem by Wilfred Owen

War broke: and now the Winter of the world
With perishing great darkness closes in.
The foul tornado, centred at Berlin,
Is over all the width of Europe whirled,
Rending the sails of progress. Rent or furled
Are all Art's ensigns. Verse wails. Now begin
Famines of thought and feeling. Love's wine's thin.
The grain of human Autumn rots, down-hurled.

For after Spring had bloomed in early Greece,
And Summer blazed her glory out with Rome,
An Autumn softly fell, a harvest home,
A slow grand age, and rich with all increase.
But now, for us, wild Winter, and the need
Of sowings for new Spring, and blood for seed.


Comments about 1914 by Wilfred Owen

  • Savita Tyagi (12/16/2014 7:32:00 PM)

    There was a time when war started and ended. In today's world it never seems to end. Blood thirsty humans have crossed all the boundaries. Nothing is off the table. Reading this poem is painful yet in some way it's poetic expression has a calm effect. All I can do is to pray for peace. May peace prevail in our hearts. (Report) Reply

    13 person liked.
    15 person did not like.
  • John Richter (12/16/2014 11:40:00 AM)

    Very poetic way to portray the depth of humanity's plunge while clutched in the grip of bloody, senseless war. (Report) Reply

  • Aftab Alam Khursheed Aftab Alam Khursheed (12/16/2014 2:04:00 AM)

    very beautiful Famines of thought and feeling. Love's wine's thin.The grain of human Autumn rots, down-hurled.thanks for share (Report) Reply

  • Elizabeth Padillo Olesen Elizabeth Padillo Olesen (11/11/2014 1:33:00 PM)

    Powerful piece poem in history. (Report) Reply

  • Michael Morgan (12/16/2013 3:54:00 PM)

    It's really gross the way this smarmy poem avoids the issue of English responsibility for WW1 (Report) Reply

    El Hild (5/11/2016 3:45:00 AM)

    It’s really “gross” you feel the need to question the intentions of a man you never knew.
    Every warrior understands it takes two parties to make a war. Are you claiming this man did not know war? Or did you fail to comprehend this truth?
    Only the inexperienced are naïve enough to believe that they could continue to be an emotional third party as they become old friends with death. Do you believe you would be capable of such a feat? Or did you just want to feel morally superior, so you could tell yourself you were a good person?

    Your use of language exposes your inexperience and insecurity.

    Did you consider he may have been speaking geographically about the tornado, berlin being in the middle? Or maybe the tornado is the hatred that covered Europe and the hatred was for Berlin. I'm just spit balling here but maybe just maybe the poem isn't about who started the war at all, but about expressing the thoughts and emotions that arise in a man who has been asked to die. Ponder the last line.
    Of sowings for new Spring, and blood for seed.
    Maybe he just didn’t want to die for no reason and to give himself courage on the day of his death he would contemplate that his blood would bring something better (a new spring)

    -
    “smarmy” really? Perhaps you should avoid poetry. This link might be what you are looking for:
    https: //www.youtube.com/watch? v=gaI_lmZuGhY

  • Manonton Dalan (12/16/2012 6:30:00 AM)

    war is, is always dreadful
    far so ugly than beautiful
    tears is life but otherwise
    mangled flesh, blind eyes
    yet blood-thirsty ground
    insatiable craves crown (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw Kevin Straw (12/16/2009 7:11:00 AM)

    A great prophetic poem foreshadowing T S Eliot's 'The Wasteland' and the retreat of modern art after WWI into abstraction and subjectivity. The more I read Owen the bigger he gets as a poet. (Report) Reply

  • Charlene Gray (12/16/2009 6:16:00 AM)

    love's wine's thin
    beautiful poem
    got my vote for it =) (Report) Reply

  • Ramesh T A Ramesh T A (12/16/2009 2:16:00 AM)

    Seasonal change of life situation due to war depicted by Wilfred Owen weaves a fabric rich in texture to remember that war as souvenir beautiful! (Report) Reply

  • William Sherratt (3/29/2006 11:59:00 AM)

    For Auitumn, see The British Empire?
    For Winter, see Washington?
    For Spring see China? (Report) Reply

  • Solomon Brook (12/16/2005 9:47:00 PM)

    6.5 user rating? Ouch. (Report) Reply

Read all 12 comments »




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Read poems about / on: autumn, winter, spring, war, summer, home, world



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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