Siegfried Sassoon

(1886 - 1967 / Kent / England)

Hero - Poem by Siegfried Sassoon

'Jack fell as he'd have wished,' the Mother said,
And folded up the letter that she'd read.
'The Colonel writes so nicely.' Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. 'We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.' Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the Brother Officer went out.
He'd told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt.
For while he coughed and mumbled, her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he'd been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how 'Jack', cold-footed, useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he'd tried
To get sent home, and how, at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.


Comments about Hero by Siegfried Sassoon

  • (10/28/2018 4:49:00 AM)


    The Moral is depressing (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (10/20/2018 6:32:00 AM)


    I don't understand this poem I don't get the story which makes it boring (Report) Reply

  • (6/7/2018 7:09:00 AM)


    Wagwan piff ting peng ting innit (Report) Reply

    (11/23/2018 7:43:00 AM)

    hello bobby

    (11/23/2018 7:37:00 AM)

    bobby that was well epic gamer

  • (5/17/2018 11:52:00 PM)


    This poem is very regimented like an army you should write a paragraph on structure (Report) Reply

  • (4/18/2018 12:31:00 PM)


    REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE (Report) Reply

    (10/14/2018 9:27:00 PM)

    ily REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

    (5/17/2018 11:51:00 PM)

    How dare you connote that this speaker “THE PIG POET” was intending the word he wrote to mean the correct conjugation of the present participle form of this Estonian word “ReetSartreet”, “Azerbaijani Radioasktiv Skrattadministrativslav #54”? ! This example of ignorance is particularly bathetic. Removal of your Icelandic keyboard may be necessary for you to learn how to treat members of the public who are not fluent in Estonian in a polite manner. I am disappointed in you.

    (5/17/2018 11:40:00 PM)

    I disagree. “RËÈÊĒĖĘEEEEEÉEEEEEEEEÈEEEEEEĖEEEEEÊEEEEEEĒEEEĘ” is the correct conjugation of the present participle form of this Estonian verb “ReetSartreet.

  • (6/1/2008 8:04:00 AM)


    The regular, ordered structure of this poem with the complicated and emotional content reflects the public mood at the time towards the war. It was ostensibly calm, optimistic and controlled, but in the reality of the trenches it was chaotic, meek and there was much death.

    It is ironic also, that the death of Jack, 'blown into small bits' is not in the least bit 'glorious'. It shows the soldiers were fighting a war that reduced 'heroes' into panicking wrecks trying to get sent home.

    The 'woman with white hair' in this poem is a character that echoes the extremely british notion of maintaining a 'stiff upper lip' - '

    The false information given to the woman so that she can remember her son as a 'brave' and 'glorious boy' reflects to what extent the authorities covered up the truth about the war to maintain morale and optimism.
    (Report) Reply

    (10/20/2018 6:34:00 AM)

    Thanks this helped me understand this

Read all 12 comments »




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Read poems about / on: brother, lonely, woman, hair, mother, joy, home, hero, night, soldier, women



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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