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Aftermath
(1886 - 1967 / Kent / England)

Aftermath

Poem By Siegfried Sassoon

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
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you're a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same--and War's a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz--
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench--
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, 'Is it all going to happen again?'

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack--
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads--those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you'll never forget.

User Rating: 3,4 / 5 ( 100 votes ) 11

Comments (11)

What a waste that war was over 700,000 British lives lost I don't know the final total for all countries involved. But over 700,000 lives. Lives that could have been. A tragic poem that really hits home. And Siegfried Sassoon survived the war.
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ree, im not happy that i have to do this for school grr this makes me angery
Read, and read, .. and read again. From the very first stanza I turned the page to find at school, to the current day (33yrs later) hugely influential in making poetry meaningful and resonant. Among the elite in conjuring images and thoughts in the mind as he himself thought and wrote them. Should forever remain part of curriculum and a poet to confide in when defining for yourself the nature of the human soul. RIP for your words shall resound hereafter.
brings the war back to life,


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