Please join The Boys & Girls Club of East Scarborough on Monday, November 12, for our Remembrance Day event. We take this moment to honour the men and women who have sacrificed so much in war, those who have endured such immeasurable trials and those who were lost before their time.
To try to understand the veteran’s experiences, there is likely no better place to turn than the stunning artworks produced by veterans themselves.* Among these is the famous poem “Dulce et decorum est” by Wilfred Owen, the WWI soldier-poet. At age 25, and one week before armistice, he was killed in battle. Of the casualties of that war, he was just one among 37 million; and that is just one war among many. Lest we forget.
(For a fine recording of the poem, please click here.)
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 hootsOf gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumblingFitting the clumsy helmets just in time,But someone still was yelling out and stumblingAnd 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 paceBehind 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 bloodCome gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cudOf vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—My friend, you would not tell with such high zestTo children ardent for some desperate glory,The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est