Siegfried Sassoon
Kent / England
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Aftermath

Rating: 3.4
Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz--
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench--
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack--
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.
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COMMENTS
Shaun Cronick 07 June 2020
What a waste that war was over 700,000 British lives lost I don't know the final total for all countries involved. But over 700,000 lives. Lives that could have been. A tragic poem that really hits home. And Siegfried Sassoon survived the war.
1 0 Reply
Ambrose Hayes 17 March 2019
#StopAdani #StopAdani #StopAdani
3 7 Reply
The Mexicelt 17 April 2019
Idiot, keep your politics to yourself, they don't belong here.
0 0 Reply
bean boy 15 March 2019
ree, im not happy that i have to do this for school grr this makes me angery
4 3 Reply
Steve Bond 10 November 2018
Read, and read, .. and read again. From the very first stanza I turned the page to find at school, to the current day (33yrs later) hugely influential in making poetry meaningful and resonant. Among the elite in conjuring images and thoughts in the mind as he himself thought and wrote them. Should forever remain part of curriculum and a poet to confide in when defining for yourself the nature of the human soul. RIP for your words shall resound hereafter.
4 2 Reply
Dai Williams 29 August 2018
brings the war back to life,
6 3 Reply
Martin lewis 26 February 2018
Very emotional and captures the horrific scenes
8 2 Reply
Myself 24 January 2018
I love looking at these war poems. They make one remember those who served them and those who need honored by us. I'm a cadet. This stuff is important.
7 6 Reply
Susan Williams 14 November 2017
This poem is going to haunt me for a long long time! Powerful. Heart-breaking. Wise. And it hurts in that way that truth has of hurting. 10+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
10 6 Reply
qwertyuiop 14 November 2017
bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad
10 9 Reply
Jennifer Wilson 02 September 2009
Raw and emotional, this poem really hits home, and shows the brutal and viscous cycle that is war.
46 15 Reply

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