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Wilfred Owen

(1893-1918 / Shropshire / England)

Greater Love


Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!

Your slender attitude
Trembles not exquisite like limbs knife-skewed,
Rolling and rolling there
Where God seems not to care;
Till the fierce love they bear
Cramps them in death's extreme decrepitude.

Your voice sings not so soft,-
Though even as wind murmuring through raftered loft,-
Your dear voice is not dear,
Gentle, and evening clear,
As theirs whom none now hear,
Now earth has stopped their piteous mouths that coughed.

Heart, you were never hot
Nor large, nor full like hearts made great with shot;
And though your hand be pale,
Paler are all which trail
Your cross through flame and hail:
Weep, you may weep, for you may touch them not.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Susan Alldred-lugton (3/14/2005 2:57:00 AM)

    I think Wilfred Owen is one of the greatest of the Australian poets His life, as was Oscar Wildes was not an easy one, but by vrtue of that fact, he was able to access very deep feelings and write about lifes conflicts even madness. It is sad that he is not more widely read.

    This poem has an intense and mysterious quality about and lends itself to individual interpretation by the reader. In that way, he doesnt lecture to the reader only conveys feelings that we can resonate with (Report) Reply

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