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A Letter Home - Poem by Siegfried Sassoon

(To Robert Graves)

I

Here I'm sitting in the gloom
Of my quiet attic room.
France goes rolling all around,
Fledged with forest May has crowned.
And I puff my pipe, calm-hearted,
Thinking how the fighting started,
Wondering when we'll ever end it,
Back to hell with Kaiser sent it,
Gag the noise, pack up and go,
Clockwork soldiers in a row.
I've got better things to do
Than to waste my time on you.

II

Robert, when I drowse to-night,
Skirting lawns of sleep to chase
Shifting dreams in mazy light,
Somewhere then I'll see your face
Turning back to bid me follow
Where I wag my arms and hollo,
Over hedges hasting after
Crooked smile and baffling laughter,
Running tireless, floating, leaping,
Down your web-hung woods and valleys,
Where the glowworm stars are peeping,
Till I find you, quiet as stone
On a hill-top all alone,
Staring outward, gravely pondering
Jumbled leagues of hillock-wandering.

III

You and I have walked together
In the starving winter weather.
We've been glad because we knew
Time's too short and friends are few.
We've been sad because we missed
One whose yellow head was kissed
By the gods, who thought about him
Till they couldn't do without him.
Now he's here again; I've been
Soldier David dressed in green,
Standing in a wood that swings
To the madrigal he sings.
He's come back, all mirth and glory,
Like the prince in a fairy tory.
Winter called him far away;
Blossoms bring him home with May.

IV

Well, I know you'll swear it's true
That you found him decked in blue
Striding up through morning-land
With a cloud on either hand.
Out in Wales, you'll say, he marches
Arm-in-arm with aoks and larches;
Hides all night in hilly nooks,
Laughs at dawn in tumbling brooks.
Yet, it's certain, here he teaches
Outpost-schemes to groups of beeches.
And I'm sure, as here I stand,
That he shines through every land,
That he sings in every place
Where we're thinking of his face.

V

Robert, there's a war in France;
Everywhere men bang and blunder,
Sweat and swear and worship Chance,
Creep and blink through cannon thunder.
Rifles crack and bullets flick,
Sing and hum like hornet-swarms.
Bones are smashed and buried quick.
Yet, through stunning battle storms,
All the while I watch the spark
Lit to guide me; for I know
Dreams will triumph, though the dark
Scowls above me where I go.
You can hear me; you can mingle
Radiant folly with my jingle.
War's a joke for me and you
While we know such dreams are true!


Comments about A Letter Home by Siegfried Sassoon

  • Gold Star - 121,618 Points Susan Williams (5/1/2017 5:19:00 PM)

    It's not very often that a poem brings me to my knees, heart pounding, soul in distress. Beautifully written verses, readers waiting in agony to hear the soldiers' return. Absolutely top-notch literature here. (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 154,978 Points Bernard F. Asuncion (5/1/2017 3:37:00 AM)

    Quiet as stone..... thanks for posting..... (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 31,158 Points Tom Allport (5/1/2017 3:34:00 AM)

    a descriptive and colourful poem of a time gone blast and of the people who new it would not last? ......well written. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »

Poems About Home

  1. 1. They Went Home , Maya Angelou
  2. 2. To A Daughter Leaving Home , Linda Pastan
  3. 3. Home And Love , Robert William Service
  4. 4. A Letter Home , Siegfried Sassoon
  5. 5. Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead , Alfred Lord Tennyson
  6. 6. Home Burial , Robert Frost
  7. 7. Home For Thanksgiving , Linda Pastan
  8. 8. Welcome Home , Spike Milligan
  9. 9. My Childhood Home I See Again , Abraham Lincoln
  10. 10. Home , Anne Brontë
  11. 11. Home Thoughts, From Abroad , Robert Browning
  12. 12. Coming Home , Ernestine Northover
  13. 13. Home After Three Months Away , Robert Lowell
  14. 14. Journey Home , Rabindranath Tagore
  15. 15. A Home Song , Henry Van Dyke
  16. 16. Home, Sweet Home , John Howard Payne
  17. 17. Come Home, Father! , Henry Clay Work
  18. 18. Letter Home , Natasha Trethewey
  19. 19. Bound For Your Distant Home , Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin
  20. 20. Down Home , Lucy Maud Montgomery
  21. 21. Home From Abroad , Laurie Lee
  22. 22. The Home , Rabindranath Tagore
  23. 23. At Home , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  24. 24. My Home , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  25. 25. Home Thoughts , Claude McKay
  26. 26. Home Thoughts, From The Sea , Robert Browning
  27. 27. Graydigger's Home , William Stafford
  28. 28. Away From Home Are Some And I— , Emily Dickinson
  29. 29. A Martian Sends A Postcard Home , Craig Raine
  30. 30. The Old Home Calls , Lucy Maud Montgomery
  31. 31. Home , Wilfrid Wilson Gibson
  32. 32. Home , Zbigniew Herbert
  33. 33. Variations At Home And Abroad , Kenneth Koch
  34. 34. Who Goes Home? , Gilbert Keith Chesterton
  35. 35. Home Sweet Home , Siyabonga A Nxumalo
  36. 36. The Hangman At Home , Carl Sandburg
  37. 37. On Home Beaches , Les Murray
  38. 38. Home , Rupert Brooke
  39. 39. Home, Sweet Home , Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  40. 40. Sweet Stay-At-Home , William Henry Davies
  41. 41. Almost Home , Sandra Fowler
  42. 42. The Wrong Way Home , James Tate
  43. 43. Oh Stay At Home, My Lad , Alfred Edward Housman
  44. 44. The Princess: A Medley: Home They Brough.. , Alfred Lord Tennyson
  45. 45. When The Children Come Home , Henry Lawson
  46. 46. .home Sweet Home , Nikunj Sharma
  47. 47. Prophets At Home , Rudyard Kipling
  48. 48. How Bateese Came Home , William Henry Drummond
  49. 49. Night In The Old Home , Thomas Hardy
  50. 50. To Friends At Home , Robert Louis Stevenson
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