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 (3)

actualy i real shocked that no comment for this lovely poem.
Now that is the way love should conducted- I have his heart instead of mine and he has mine instead of his. That arrangement would certainly put a lot more emphasis on the quality of a person's interior and a whole lot less on his or her outward gorgeousness.
This was one of Jackie Onassis's favorite poems, according to her daughter, Caroline.