Alfred Edward Housman

(26 March 1859 – 30 April 1936 / Worcestershire)

Here Dead We Lie

Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
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# 219 poem on top 500 Poems

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Anthony Foster (2/2/2009 1:52:00 PM)

    He was writing about those he admired for making the ultimate sacrifice. Its a poem about passion not between a man and a woeman but about love for a group, a tribe, a country, or an ideal. Very good! I get the impression this was written some time after the event. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Pruchnicki (2/2/2009 8:20:00 AM)

    Some comments on this site make no sense whatever, even to those with the most generous of temperaments. Read Andu's comment for verification!

    We did not choose to live by shaming the land from which we sprung, the dead say to us, in very explicit language indeed. The dead are evidently young men who chose to serve their country in a war and to die on the battlefield. They had an option to avoid death in battle by fleeing from danger and thereby shaming their country and themselves. In a strict sense, the dead young men had control over the lives they sacrificed for others! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Adeniyi Andu (2/2/2008 10:35:00 AM)

    Life means different things to different people. Life doesn't mean happiness and victory at all times, but still we simply move on. Why? Because there is the ideal which drives them. The words 'Because we did not choose to live' seem to imply that he has control over his life and death, of which he doesn't even nearly have. (Report) Reply

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