Keith Douglas

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

How To Kill - Poem by Keith Douglas

Under the parabola of a ball,
a child turning into a man,
I looked into the air too long.
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Comments about How To Kill by Keith Douglas

  • Gold Star - 13,488 Points Terry Craddock (4/30/2015 9:41:00 PM)

    the parabola of a ball,
    a child turning into a man,
    I looked into the air too long.
    The ball fell in my hand

    seems to be a grenade, 'Now in my dial of glass appears/ the soldier who is going to die' confirms the deadly game of war. Once weapons were a superstitious 'sorcery', modern warfare has moved far beyond this as 'How easy it is to make a ghost' confirms.
    'The weightless mosquito touches' is so fitting, death like a mosquito is hard to see coming, death is weightless, and death claims the great and small, thus

    her tiny shadow on the stone,
    and with how like, how infinite
    a lightness, man and shadow meet.
    They fuse. A shadow is a man
    when the mosquito death approaches

    contains vast meaning. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 34,028 Points Gangadharan Nair Pulingat (2/21/2015 3:17:00 AM)

    Though this is one among the top standard poem of old times the meanings are relevant today and it is so important in a world of conflicts that we live. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,282 Points Nika Mcguin (2/21/2014 7:32:00 PM)

    And look, has made a man of dust
    of a man of flesh. This sorcery
    I do. Being damned, I am amused
    to see the centre of love diffused
    and the wave of love travel into vacancy.
    How easy it is to make a ghost.

    These lines are so bone chilling. I also liked the shadow/mosquito verse. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 47,086 Points Gajanan Mishra (2/21/2013 3:40:00 AM)

    A shadow is a man when the mosquito death approaches. thanks. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Gerard Rochford (1/28/2007 2:01:00 PM)

    this jagged, uneven poem, is nevertheles i feel, one of the great poems of the last century. the mosquito image is wonderfully worked. (Report) Reply








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