Disabled Poem by Wilfred Owen


Rating: 3.6

He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light blue trees,
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,-
In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands.
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now, he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.

One time he liked a blood-smear down his leg,
After the matches, carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. - He wonders why.
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts,
That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie: aged nineteen years.

Germans he scarcely thought of; all their guilt,
And Austria's, did not move him. And no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then enquired about his soul.

Now, he will spend a few sick years in institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?

Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Topic(s) of this poem: life
Lewis Bancroft 09 September 2007

this poem is a poem frought with disapointment, the loss of a soldier, who with some distant sense of duty, went to war, not thinking of the consequences, and is reminiscent of so many soldiers who fought in the great war. god bless them

74 129 Reply
Stephen W 08 August 2015

Still going on today. Afghanistan, etc.

1 0
Nithya Raghavan 20 January 2010

a poem about how a person loses all the popularity fast..and he sits on his wheelchair, when once upon a time he was willing to give every form of his existence to war...he is there, eaten away by the teeth of fate...

63 73 Reply
Friedchickenisha Joe 05 January 2012

very good peom i iked it allot love the name and details: d

57 73 Reply
Dawn Fuzan 27 April 2014

I like this one, its Good

31 29 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 11 February 2021

A wonderful poem. So poignant and deeply touching. Beautifully crafted.

0 1 Reply
Cynthia Buhain-baello 13 September 2019

A very touching and deeply moving poem on soldiers and those who survive the wars but end up disabled. The last lines created an impact that left a strong message - truly a remarkable piece to read.

5 2 Reply
Britte Ninad 08 July 2019

heart touching poem penned|||||

6 1 Reply
i am poor and so are you 18 March 2019

Tgay tgay tgay tgay tgay tgay tgay

7 9 Reply
fat WILL EAT U 04 February 2019


1 12 Reply
Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen

Shropshire / England
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