How To Kill

Under the parabola of a ball,
a child turning into a man,
I looked into the air too long.
The ball fell in my hand, it sang
in the closed fist: Open Open
Behold a gift designed to kill.

Now in my dial of glass appears
the soldier who is going to die.
He smiles, and moves about in ways
his mother knows, habits of his.
The wires touch his face: I cry
NOW. Death, like a familiar, hears

And look, has made a man of dust
of a man of flesh. This sorcery
I do. Being damned, I am amused
to see the centre of love diffused
and the wave of love travel into vacancy.
How easy it is to make a ghost.

The weightless mosquito touches
her tiny shadow on the stone,
and with how like, how infinite
a lightness, man and shadow meet.
They fuse. A shadow is a man
when the mosquito death approaches

by Keith Douglas

Other poems of DOUGLAS (7)

Comments (10)

I tink dis poom is rubbis. to too rubbiss. I hate bery much
And look, has made a man of dust of a man of flesh. This sorcery I do. Being damned, I am amused to see the centre of love diffused and the wave of love travel into vacancy. How easy it is to make a ghost. -shows the terror of modern warfare which turns all emotion and humanity into nothingness.What a horrible thing this is! the comparison with sorcery and the example of ghost is also astounding.
Unusually good war poem- a genre I usually don't find very interesting. MM
Very interesting poem. And timely. How easy it is for war to create ghosts. Indeed.
The weightless mosquito touches! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
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