Wilfred Owen
Shropshire / England
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Mental Cases

Rating: 3.4
Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight?
Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows,
Drooping tongues from jays that slob their relish,
Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked?
Stroke on stroke of pain,- but what slow panic,
Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets?
Ever from their hair and through their hands' palms
Misery swelters. Surely we have perished
Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish?
-These are men whose minds the Dead have ravished.
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COMMENTS
Jim Tommy Jim 04 March 2020
slightly.....gay Sorry but that's the only way to describe it
4 1 Reply
ILikeToAnalyis 05 October 2019
This poem is just one of the few remaining examples of a Soldier's point of view during the first world war. Extremely helpful and I believe it helped us further research PTSD
1 3 Reply
Lachie Mason 31 March 2019
really devine poem, just crazy
1 4 Reply
harry Ryan 31 March 2019
greatness my favourite poem of all time
4 4 Reply
Alexander Kopievsky 31 March 2019
great call
0 0 Reply
eeeeee 16 November 2018
eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
5 4 Reply
Liam Taylor 04 March 2015
10/10 would read again
31 30 Reply
eeeeee 10 June 2019
read it again then
0 0 Reply
Cathy O 27 February 2015
Historically his knowledge is impressive. PTSD was not really a thing during world war one. Or it had no true form of treatment. I believe this is a great representation of the horror of the trenches.
23 15 Reply
ILikeToAnalyis 05 October 2019
It isn't that it wasn't a thing so much that it wasn't recognized as something you would gain throught the conditions and horror of War and was instead interpreted as Cowardice. There was no treatment at the time as far as I know though.
0 0 Reply
Conrad B. 23 November 2013
This poem is misquoted in two places, both in the lines Drooping tongues from jays that slob their relish, / Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked? The correct quote is Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish, / Baring teeth that leer like skulls' tongues wicked? both jays and teeth are incorrect.
25 26 Reply
Jane Moon 03 June 2009
Ah, here is the catastrophe of war: men traumatized beyond endurance, destroyed for life. Is death preferable? What grotesque past destroyed their minds? What pathetic future enslaves them, these individuals so devastated and haunted. War has no purpose but destruction - so wrong!
34 30 Reply
Philip Ford 25 February 2005
The greatest anti-war poem ever written
24 33 Reply

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