Dulce et Decorum est

“Dulce et Decorum est” was a poem written by Wilfred Owen between 1917 and 1918. Owen was a soldier during the first world war, also known as the great war.

Wilfred Owen wrote this poem while he was fighting at Craiglockhart during world war one. The poem describes the actions and the tension of the soldiers while they were being attacked with mustard gas. Mustard gas was a poisonous gas that was used to weaken the enemy defenses and had awful effects if breathed. It could even bring horrible death.

In my opinion, this antiwar poem shows the real face of war. Owen lived in such a complicated period, he saw his allies dying right in front of his eyes, so he tries to give us an idea of the consequences that war has.

There are no benefits that someone can get through war. Even the winner has lost so many soldiers, so many human lives, that it just isn’t worth it. That’s why I really liked this poem because it shows an ugly truth. Below you can find a video with the recitation of the poem as well as the poem itself.

Dulce et Decorum est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.

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