Siegfried Sassoon

(1886 - 1967 / Kent / England)

A Letter Home


(To Robert Graves)

I

Here I'm sitting in the gloom
Of my quiet attic room.
France goes rolling all around,
Fledged with forest May has crowned.
And I puff my pipe, calm-hearted,
Thinking how the fighting started,
Wondering when we'll ever end it,
Back to hell with Kaiser sent it,
Gag the noise, pack up and go,
Clockwork soldiers in a row.
I've got better things to do
Than to waste my time on you.

II

Robert, when I drowse to-night,
Skirting lawns of sleep to chase
Shifting dreams in mazy light,
Somewhere then I'll see your face
Turning back to bid me follow
Where I wag my arms and hollo,
Over hedges hasting after
Crooked smile and baffling laughter,
Running tireless, floating, leaping,
Down your web-hung woods and valleys,
Where the glowworm stars are peeping,
Till I find you, quiet as stone
On a hill-top all alone,
Staring outward, gravely pondering
Jumbled leagues of hillock-wandering.

III

You and I have walked together
In the starving winter weather.
We've been glad because we knew
Time's too short and friends are few.
We've been sad because we missed
One whose yellow head was kissed
By the gods, who thought about him
Till they couldn't do without him.
Now he's here again; I've been
Soldier David dressed in green,
Standing in a wood that swings
To the madrigal he sings.
He's come back, all mirth and glory,
Like the prince in a fairy tory.
Winter called him far away;
Blossoms bring him home with May.

IV

Well, I know you'll swear it's true
That you found him decked in blue
Striding up through morning-land
With a cloud on either hand.
Out in Wales, you'll say, he marches
Arm-in-arm with aoks and larches;
Hides all night in hilly nooks,
Laughs at dawn in tumbling brooks.
Yet, it's certain, here he teaches
Outpost-schemes to groups of beeches.
And I'm sure, as here I stand,
That he shines through every land,
That he sings in every place
Where we're thinking of his face.

V

Robert, there's a war in France;
Everywhere men bang and blunder,
Sweat and swear and worship Chance,
Creep and blink through cannon thunder.
Rifles crack and bullets flick,
Sing and hum like hornet-swarms.
Bones are smashed and buried quick.
Yet, through stunning battle storms,
All the while I watch the spark
Lit to guide me; for I know
Dreams will triumph, though the dark
Scowls above me where I go.
You can hear me; you can mingle
Radiant folly with my jingle.
War's a joke for me and you
While we know such dreams are true!

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

Do you like this poem?
13 person liked.
2 person did not like.

Read poems about / on: winter, war, fairy, soldier, weather, running, laughter, sad, home, together, smile, green, sleep, night, alone, dark, light, kiss, dream, friend

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Letter Home by Siegfried Sassoon )

Enter the verification code :

Read all 1 comments »

Trending Poets

Trending Poems

  1. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  4. If, Rudyard Kipling
  5. To an Athlete Dying Young, Alfred Edward Housman
  6. Alone, Maya Angelou
  7. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  8. A Question, Robert Frost
  9. Alone With Everybody, Charles Bukowski
  10. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost

Poem of the Day

poet Alfred Edward Housman

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

New Poems

  1. Dark Crevices, Kela LewisMorin
  2. I Submit, Vera Sidhwa
  3. Nadine, David Lewis Paget
  4. Experiencing Humiliation, Lawrence S. Pertillar
  5. Woes Of The World, Kela LewisMorin
  6. my favorite painter is the sky, Bull Hawking
  7. The Music of the World, Vera Sidhwa
  8. If You Were Here Today, Serena Blackinton
  9. my eyes only see light, Rob Spiering
  10. All for You, Muhammad Sarim Ashrafi
[Hata Bildir]