Siegfried Sassoon
Kent / England

A Letter Home

Rating: 3.0
(To Robert Graves)

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.


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.


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.


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.


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!
Mimi Moghal 07 December 2018
This is lit sooo helpful for my school project xx
2 1 Reply
Chris 13 November 2018
check out The Valleys - Electrelane
2 1 Reply
Mimi Moghal 12 November 2018
So touching I have enjoyed this very much x
3 0 Reply
No name 07 November 2018
I enjoy Siegfried Sasson's poems which gives us a hint about the trauma and in WW1! Also it's very emotional to read those war poems especially 'Hero' and 'Sucide in the Trenches'
3 0 Reply
armstrong 02 May 2018
wow that poem is really heart felt
4 0 Reply
Kumarmani Mahakul 01 May 2018
Touching expression. War....France...Beautifully penned.
3 1 Reply
Glen Kappy 01 May 2018
Knowing Sassoon railed against war, that passion put to words in other poems, it’s good to read this one, good to know his heart knew the dream that endures beyond the desolations greedy people cause. -GK
5 0 Reply
Anil Kumar Panda 01 May 2018
The heart of a soldier weeps for home too. Sick with fighting wars he wishes to return. Very nice.
4 0 Reply
Abhimanyu Kumar.s 01 December 2017
Sad to see and return from the dreadful war and battles.
5 0 Reply
David Tilt 29 November 2017
Soldier David dressed in green- David Cuthbert Thomas killed at Fricourt 1916, Officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers and a friend of Sassoon and Graves. It should read- Now he's here again; I've seen Soldier David dressed in green. It should also be- Arm-in-arm with oaks and larches. War gives the setting and the intense emotion to produce great poetry yet can also deprive us of the poets mature reflection. Robert Graves wrote to Siegfried-And God! what poetry we'll write! -
5 0 Reply

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