November 12, 2018

Armistice Day

Filed under: bloggery,living in the future — Rhiannon Lassiter @ 9:07 am

WB Yeats said that the war poets weren’t proper poetry. He called them passive suffering and dismissed them from the Oxford Book of Modern Verse.

They suffered, those poets. And there wasn’t much they could do about it. What they could do, they did. Which was to leave us their words and their warning.

Let’s not get too romantic about what they called the Great War. Two million people died for patriotism and pride. They died stupidly and futilely and painfully, or they came back shattered and maimed and full of horror. It was an epic tragedy.

Yeats thought that, in times of peace, war should be forgotten like a fever dream. I believe those who forget the mistakes of the past will sleepwalk into a nightmare.

On Remembrance Sunday, I wear the red poppy with a white one: for the memory of the fallen and the hope of peace to come.

And I remember Wilfred Owen, who knew how stupid his death was, but did his best to make it mean something.

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