poet Isaac Rosenberg

Isaac Rosenberg

#317 on top 500 poets

Break Of Day In The Trenches

The darkness crumbles away
It is the same old druid Time as ever,
Only a live thing leaps my hand,
A queer sardonic rat,
As I pull the parapet's poppy
To stick behind my ear.
Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew
Your cosmopolitan sympathies,
Now you have touched this English hand
You will do the same to a German
Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure
To cross the sleeping green between.
It seems you inwardly grin as you pass
Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes,
Less chanced than you for life,
Bonds to the whims of murder,
Sprawled in the bowels of the earth,
The torn fields of France.
What do you see in our eyes
At the shrieking iron and flame
Hurled through still heavens?
What quaver -what heart aghast?
Poppies whose roots are in men's veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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Comments about Break Of Day In The Trenches by Isaac Rosenberg

  • Terry CraddockTerry Craddock (9/7/2020 10:56:00 PM)

    This war was a scare upon the human psyche, which intensified as it continued to drag on, for four long years. It scared civilization at the time and service personal who fought in The Great War were scared, for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately our global civilization has not learned to stop sabre rattling and heartfelt embrace peace.

    I wrote the poem 'Sardonic Rats Fearless Welcome Break Of Day', inspired by the poem 'Break Of Day In The Trenches' by the poet Isaac Rosenberg.

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  • Lynn Braben (11/10/2019 11:26:00 AM)

    Hearbreaking and full of emotion

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  • Tom Allport (4/3/2017 5:05:00 AM)

    a brilliantly descriptive poem of a day in the life of an English soldier poet? ...............superbly written.

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    5 person liked.
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  • Terry CraddockTerry Craddock (8/9/2014 6:55:00 PM)

    Almost a surrealist first few lines, to immortalize break of dawn, picking a poppy over the parapet, in a Great War trench; echoing through time.

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    15 person liked.
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  • Poem Baby Cakes (9/17/2009 2:35:00 PM)

    it is a great poem that has touched my heart and i know see why members of my local club encouraged me to read it

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    26 person liked.
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Read poems about / on: murder, green, time, heart, life, sympathy, sleep