Miners

There was a whispering in my hearth,
A sigh of the coal.
Grown wistful of a former earth
It might recall.

I listened for a tale of leaves
And smothered ferns,
Frond-forests; and the low, sly lives
Before the fawns.

My fire might show steam-phantoms simmer
From Time's old cauldron,
Before the birds made nests in summer,
Or men had children.

But the coals were murmuring of their mine,
And moans down there
Of boys that slept wry sleep, and men
Writhing for air.

And I saw white bones in the cinder-shard,
Bones without number.
For many hearts with coal are charred,
And few remember.

I thought of all that worked dark pits
Of war, and died
Digging the rock where Death reputes
Peace lies indeed.

Comforted years will sit soft-chaired
In rooms of amber;
The years will stretch their hands, well-cheered
By our lifes' ember.

The centuries will burn rich loads
With which we groaned,
Whose warmth shall lull their dreaming lids,
While songs are crooned.
But they will not dream of us poor lads
Left in the ground.

by Wilfred Owen

Comments (11)

Being a miner I can understand the hardships and risks one has to face in mines. Loved the poems so much. felt somewhat related. A great poem indeed on the lives of miners.10+++++++++
and what if we remembered where our food comes from—those that planted, tended, and harvested it; were they paid fairly? exposed to poisons? treated fairly? or remembered where our clothing comes from—those responsible for the growing or the making of it, the sewing of it... how much we take for granted! we'd do well to remember and appreciate and, in so doing, hopefully, use less and be satisfied with enough. -gk
And I saw white bones in the cinder-shard, Bones without number. For many hearts with coal are charred, And few remember..facts of life of the miners.. sad, their dreamig lids, dreaming of us poor lads........ very fine poem. thanku. tony
'us poor lads Left in the ground. The price some pay for others' warmth and comfort. Now the cost of coal burning is upon us all.
But the coals were murmuring of their mine, And moans down there miners are well penned in the poem
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