1914 Poem by David Wood


Rating: 4.5

Married villages emptied to the call.
Young single men from well-worn towns
Changed from suits and flat caps to khaki.
They changed their hob nailed working boots
To lugging clay-sucked boots of the trenches.
They marched down roads lined with
Loving wives and girlfriends waiving.
They marched to the slaughterhouse of
Flanders fields where poppies blossomed,
Their blood filled petals beckoning all who
Passed by and fell to the bullet or shell.
Death clinging low to the ground. Death
Walking, sickle sweeping from side to side,
With Death saying, 'I claim him' over and over.
August 1914 was just the beginning of hell.
Lions marching into the unknown and oblivion.

We are nearing the centenary of the start of the First World War and man doesn't seem to have learned anything about peace
Kim Barney 28 January 2015

I love this poem. I have voted it a ten. It reminds me somewhat of my poem RIVER RAN RED, which is about the Battle of Antietam in the Civil War. Keep writing.

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Aileen Figueroa 15 September 2015

I felt like I was part of the story In the crowd somewhere just watching As the new young soldiers proudly marched I also envision their heads laying down quietly on the green grass as Death said, “I claim him”, over and over From side to side. It made me feel sadness and anger. I guess it’s because we still have war today. But most importantly it made me feel, And that’s what makes this one a great story poem

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Kim Barney 20 July 2015

I see that I already commented on this poem back in January. I loved it then and still love it. You have done a marvelous job with this one, and congratulations on having it selected as member poem of the day! Well deserved.

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Stephen Parker 12 April 2013

I love poems on the realism of war. Idealistic notions soon morph into quagmire of reality. Good description of the World War One soldier!

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Shahzia Batool 13 April 2013

Amazing chronicler this your poem is, and wonderful yet so cutting poets notes about it...

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Unnikrishnan E S 12 February 2022

"I Claim ", is what wars have always said. What purpose are the wars? Whose purpose do they serve? Are the moot questions. Very pertinent forceful writing.deeply perturbing. And acutely truthful. Top score and myfav

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Deluke Muwanigwa 11 February 2022

True true. We never learn. The need to overcome one another, to oppress one another to be supreme makes us march to war. A pity Nice metaphors and images.

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Michael Hopkins 19 December 2021

Yes, wars are tragic and leave us with a heavy burden of sadness while the psychopaths profit and delight in our suffering

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Matthew Holloway 14 November 2021

Very well written & enjoyed

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Rose Marie Juan-austin 28 January 2021

Powerful and touching lines that penetrate to the core of the hearts. Beautifully crafted with compelling imagery. To my Poem List.

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