Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Poems

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
...

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world's events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
...

Does it matter? -losing your legs?
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When others come in after hunting
...

The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes
Till beauty shines in all that we can see.
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.
...

(To Robert Graves)

I
...

AT dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun
In the wild purple of the glow'ring sun,
Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud
The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,
...

7.

'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.
...

I lived my days apart,
Dreaming fair songs for God;
By the glory in my heart
Covered and crowned and shod.
...

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath
I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
You'd see me with my puffy petulant face,
...

10.

I’ve listened: and all the sounds I heard
Were music,—wind, and stream, and bird.
With youth who sang from hill to hill
I’ve listened: my heart is hungry still.
...

Adam, a brown old vulture in the rain,
Shivered below his wind-whipped olive-trees;
Huddling sharp chin on scarred and scraggy knees,
He moaned and mumbled to his darkening brain;
...

When Watkin shifts the burden of his cares
And all that irked him in his bound employ,
Once more become a vagrom-hearted boy,
He moves to roundelays and jocund airs;
...

Dark clouds are smouldering into red
While down the craters morning burns.
The dying soldier shifts his head
To watch the glory that returns;
...

For Morn, my dome of blue,
For Meadows, green and gay,
And Birds who love the twilight of the leaves,
Let Jesus keep me joyful when I pray.
...

The rank stench of those bodies haunts me still
And I remember things I'd best forget.
For now we've marched to a green, trenchless land
...

His wet white face and miserable eyes
Brought nurses to him more than groans and sighs:
But hoarse and low and rapid rose and fell
His troubled voice: he did the business well.
...

I’d heard fool-heroes brag of where they’d been,
With stories of the glories that they’d seen.
But you, good simple soldier, seasoned well
In woods and posts and crater-lines of hell,
...

Why do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen, cold,
Exhausted face? It hurts my heart to watch you,
Deep-shadowed from the candle's guttering gold;
...

‘Good-morning; good-morning!’ the General said
When we met him last week on our way to the line.
Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,
And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.
...

I am banished from the patient men who fight
They smote my heart to pity, built my pride.
Shoulder to aching shoulder, side by side,
They trudged away from life’s broad wealds of light.
...

Siegfried Sassoon Biography

Siegfried Sassoon was perhaps the most innocent of the war poets. John Hildebidle has called Sassoon the "accidental hero." Born into a wealthy Jewish family in 1886, Sassoon lived the pastoral life of a young squire: fox-hunting, playing cricket, golfing and writing romantic verses. Being an innocent, Sassoon's reaction to the realities of the war were all the more bitter and violent -- both his reaction through his poetry and his reaction on the battlefield (where, after the death of fellow officer David Thomas and his brother Hamo at Gallipoli, Sassoon earned the nickname "Mad Jack" for his near-suicidal exploits against the German lines -- in the early manifestation of his grief, when he still believed that the Germans were entirely to blame). As Paul Fussell said: "now he unleashed a talent for irony and satire and contumely that had been sleeping all during his pastoral youth." Sassoon also showed his innocence by going public with his protest against the war (as he grew to see that insensitive political leadership was the greater enemy than the Germans). Luckily, his friend and fellow poet Robert Graves convinced the review board that Sassoon was suffering from shell-shock and he was sent instead to the military hospital at Craiglockhart where he met and influenced Wilfred Owen. Sassoon is a key figure in the study of the poetry of the Great War: he brought with him to the war the idyllic pastoral background; he began by writing war poetry reminiscent of Rupert Brooke; he mingled with such war poets as Robert Graves and Edmund Blunden; he spoke out publicly against the war (and yet returned to it); he influenced and mentored the then unknown Wilfred Owen; he spent thirty years reflecting on the war through his memoirs; and at last he found peace in his religious faith. Some critics found his later poetry lacking in comparison to his war poems. Sassoon, identifying with Herbert and Vaughan, recognized and understood this: "my development has been entirely consistent and in character" he answered, "almost all of them have ignored the fact that I am a religious poet.")

The Best Poem Of Siegfried Sassoon

Suicide In The Trenches

I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.

In winter trenches, cowed and glum,
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go.

Siegfried Sassoon Comments

Tim Williams 24 April 2007

This is interesting

279 248 Reply
Fabrizio Frosini 02 March 2016

One of the great poets from World War I, Sassoon was also known for his fictionalised autobiographies, praised for their evocation of English country life.

146 32 Reply
Ferg Fred 02 December 2016

thank u for the likes my mother likes the attention im getting

33 39 Reply
Ferg Fred 02 December 2016

this poem makes me feel young again inspirational yours sinsirly ferg fred

41 24 Reply
Jhon Smith 02 December 2016

my Favourite poem by him is Attack

27 29 Reply
war is good 16 August 2021

this is great love the war if wish we had a world war 3

0 0 Reply
DaBaby 20 July 2021

Yeah Yeah

0 0 Reply
Hitler 17 November 2020

nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein nein

0 1 Reply
Hitler 17 November 2020

Ich werde wiederkommen

1 1 Reply
Catherine 10 March 2020

How are these comments so awful and pointless when the poems are so incedibly sad and bitter? Didnt you read any of them? If you did, how can you waste your time with such stupid comments when wars just as bad are still going on today? There are bigger things to get upset about than whether or not you get " liked" on a set of computer comments

2 4 Reply

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