Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's decayed.

But she would weep to see today
how on his skin the swart flies move;
the dust upon the paper eye
and the burst stomach like a cave.

For here the lover and killer are mingled
who had one body and one heart.
And death who had the soldier singled
has done the lover mortal hurt.

by Keith Douglas

Other poems of DOUGLAS (7)

Comments (824)

seriously. two roads diverged in wood, O O -
I remember when I was in colledge & we read this poem in my English Lit class. The professor asked us what we felt the meaning of the poem was. I answered he choose a career path that was uncertain and that made a huge difference in his life. I always loved this poem and read it again and again. Joan
I've always loved this poem..
So much truth in a brief poem. I wish I had taken many such roads in my life. I've always been too cautious.
great poem, one of he best and most famous.
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