Alfred Edward Housman
Worcestershire
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Here Dead We Lie

Rating: 3.3
Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.
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COMMENTS
Big Jon 04 August 2020
I like this. Either the speaker is the shade of a WW1 soldier or, since the dead no longer speak for themselves, the poem is a parody of war epitaphs. The dead speaker, from his perspective of eternity, would know life was a great deal to lose after all (especially since he was young) , and is speaking ironically. Or perhaps they are the words of a government-commissioned poet on the side of a tomb; but then the soldiers are made into liars, glorifying what killed them: 'Here dead we lie'.
0 0 Reply
Mahtab Bangalee 07 August 2019
death of young regretting tone of life!
0 1 Reply
Michael Walker 01 August 2019
He speaks for the young men who died in war and regretted losing their lives because they were young 'Life, to be sure, Is nothing much to lose, But young men think it is', . He is right about this.
1 1 Reply
Isaac 31 July 2019
I do not believe this comment holds any truth within its lines.
2 1 Reply
Isaac 31 July 2019
This poem does not signify a dignified end but rather the saddening truth in which the ignorant members of the Army, the men who were no different from us, had to face.
0 0 Reply
Robert Murray Smith 09 June 2018
A wonderful poem about those who died in war.
3 1 Reply
jaqualin 18 December 2017
poo poo poo poo poo
2 8 Reply
Raymond Farrell 04 August 2019
Thanks for expressing you lack of understanding as well as you possibly can.
1 0 Reply
small lines and wonderful poem.Death is the subject.
9 8 Reply
Claude H Oliver Ii 02 February 2014
It is a poem of its time. Was death for the greater good or a personal need to be a man? Interesting question.
8 9 Reply
Claude H Oliver Ii 02 February 2014
An acceptance of tribal, ethnic or national devotion which overrides devotion to humanity. It is a poem of its time. When seen from our perspective, one senses that some of us see choosing life and embracing it may be a positive evolution.
6 8 Reply
Michael Morgan 02 February 2014
Nice, from an academic who never went to war. The poem is pure posture, and full of empty bravado, though well phrased. Houseman would never have gone to ANY war. MM
5 11 Reply

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