Break Of Day In The Trenches Poem by Isaac Rosenberg

Break Of Day In The Trenches

Rating: 3.1

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 Baby Cakes 17 September 2009

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

26 19 Reply
Terence Craddock 27 August 2023

I wrote the poem 'Risking Life Limb Flesh Enlisted', inspired by a the poem 'Break Of Day In The Trenches', by the poet Isaac Rosenberg, and dedicated to Isaac Rosenberg.

0 0 Reply
Terry Craddock 07 September 2020

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.

6 0 Reply
Lynn Braben 10 November 2019

Hearbreaking and full of emotion

2 0 Reply
Tom Allport 03 April 2017

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

5 1 Reply
Terry Craddock 09 August 2014

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.

18 3 Reply
Isaac Rosenberg

Isaac Rosenberg

Bristol / England
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