Beauty

The beautiful, the fair, the elegant,
Is that which pleases us, says Kant,
Without a thought of interest or advantage.

I used to watch men when they spoke of beauty
And measure their enthusiasm. One
An old man, seeing a () setting sun,
Praised it () a certain sense of duty
To the calm evening and his time of life.
I know another man that never says a Beauty
But of a horse; ()

Men seldom speak of beauty, beauty as such,
Not even lovers think about it much.
Women of course consider it for hours
In mirrors; ()

A shrapnel ball -
Just where the wet skin glistened when he swam -
Like a fully-opened sea-anemone.
We both said 'What a beauty! What a beauty, lad'
I knew that in that flower he saw a hope
Of living on, and seeing again the roses of his home.
Beauty is that which pleases and delights,
Not bringing personal advantage - Kant.
But later on I heard
A canker worked into that crimson flower
And that he sank with it
And laid it with the anemones off Dover.

by Wilfred Owen

Comments (4)

I enjoyed this expression of your feelings on a very important topic. I am sure that all mothers applaud your words. We all, regardless of nationality, just want a world where we can live in peace with our children. Love, Irene
Aisha, great ending to a great poem. The enemy within is the most destructive of all. A wonderful poem filled with wisdom and hope... well done! ! Brian
i like this exploration of the issues and the longing behind your words. Tim
A fine message, a lovely write. Alas, alas if one man were solely to blame.. Yeats, in 'Nineteen Hundred and Nineteen' mourned, O what fine thought we had, because we thought That the worst rogues and rascals had died out. .....Now days are dragon-ridden, the nightmare rides upon sleep..... The poem is one of my favorites, I had it memorized at one time, and still know most of it by heart.