Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

On November 4, 1918 Wilford Owens, one of the most famous poets of WWI,  was killed in action at age 25, just one week before the Armistice that would bring the First World War to an end. Only five of his poems had been published when he died; most of his most famous war poems would be published after his death.

……………………………….

Asleep by Wilford Owens

Under his helmet, up against his pack,
After so many days of work and waking,
Sleep took him by the brow and laid him back.

There, in the happy no-time of his sleeping,
Death took him by the heart. There heaved a quaking
Of the aborted life within him leaping,
Then chest and sleepy arms once more fell slack.

And soon the slow, stray blood came creeping
From the intruding lead, like ants on track.

Whether his deeper sleep lie shaded by the shaking
Of great wings, and the thoughts that hung the stars,
High-pillowed on calm pillows of God’s making,
Above these clouds, these rains, these sleets of lead,
And these winds’ scimitars,
-Or whether yet his thin and sodden head
Confuses more and more with the low mould,
His hair being one with the grey grass
Of finished fields, and wire-scrags rusty-old,
Who knows? Who hopes? Who troubles? Let it pass!
He sleeps. He sleeps less tremulous, less cold,
Than we who wake, and waking say Alas!

……………………………….

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Did you Know?

1. His full name was Edward Estlin Cummings

2. He began writing poetry when he was only eight years old. He further developed his dynamic, modern style while he was a student at Harvard.

3. He was married three times — to Elaine Orr, Anne Minnerly Barton, and Marion Morehouse — and had one daughter.

4. As a poem artist, he has an unusual way of writing by never using capital letters, reason for which his name appears as ‘˜ee cummings’. Cumming’s technique raised many controversies among linguistic professionals.

5. E. E. Cummings dedicated his self-published volume of poetry, No Thanks, to the fourteen publishers who had turned it down.

6. He volunteered as an ambulance driver during World War I in France and was later interned by French authorities in a prison camp on suspicion of espionage.

7. He was born in Cambridge, MA and died in North Conway, NH.

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