Photographs by Ivor Gurney

Lying in dug-outs, joking idly, wearily;
   Watching the candle guttering in the draught;
Hearing the great shells go high over us, eerily
   Singing; how often have I turned over, and laughed
With pity and pride, photographs of all colours,
   All sizes, subjects: khaki brothers in France;
Or mother’s faces worn with countless dolours;
   Or girls whose eyes were challenging and must dance,
Though in a picture only, a common cheap
   Ill-taken card; and children—frozen, some
(Babies) waiting on Dicky-bird to peep
   Out of the handkerchief that is his home
(But he’s so shy!). And some with bright looks, calling
   Delight across the miles of land and sea,
That not the dread of barrage suddenly falling
   Could quite blot out—not mud nor lethargy.
Smiles and triumphant careless laughter. O
   The pain of them, wide Earth’s most sacred things!
Lying in dug-outs, hearing the great shells slow
   Sailing mile-high, the heart mounts higher and sings.
But once—O why did he keep that bitter token
   Of a dead Love?—that boy, who, suddenly moved,
Showed me, his eyes wet, his low talk broken,
   A girl who better had not been beloved.
       one of my favourite poets.

I'd love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.