Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

Location: North Carolina, United States

Monday, February 26, 2007

Reading Carmen, Searching Dulce

Firstly, here's the recording of "Reading Someone Else's Love Poems" that I had to redo (apparently YouTube cuts the last couple seconds off uploaded videos). I need to redo "Carmen de Boheme" also. For your viewing pleasure today, Characters Searching for Authors, courtesy of the Cosmoetica mailing list, this interesting presentation of Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and this war poem:


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 out 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 disappointed shells that dropped 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.

By Wilfred Owen


Great poem. Thick language, shocking imagery, and a stylish but powerful ending. In fact, the ending to this poem influenced the ending of my Ou La Mort. Also, "Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori" roughly translates to "It is sweet and becoming to die for one's country" and is pronounced "DUL-kay et dec-OR-um est pro puh-TRI-uh MOR-ee". If I didn't do that in the "proper" way, no matter~ You get the idea. Take care 'til next,


LAEvaside: I recently hit 3,333 posts~ 3 is my favorite number, so hey, exciting. As of now, this blog averages 20-25 hits and 30-35 page views a day. Savvy. [/laevaside]


Blogger Jessica Schneider said...

There is a film called 'Regeneration' (but then changed to 'Behind The Lines' for us stupid Americans) that is about Owen and Sasoon. I was actually planning on doing a post on Owen soon. Weird.

You should check out the film- Ive only seen the dumbed down American version, but you might enjoy it, being it's about a poet and all. Dan has a review of it on his Cinemension page, if you are interested.

Owen is a must read- I need to read more of him in fact. And very tragic that he died so young in war.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Anthony said...

This is one of those poems that I read in high school and never forgot--kind of like Shakespeare's Sonnet 130. And considering how little time was spent on poetry during high school, I think that says a lot about both poems.

I love the 'ecstacy of fumbling'...Sarah M stole that for her Fumbling Towards Ecstacy song/album.

5:41 PM  
Blogger LAEvanesce said...

I'll be sure to read some more Owen. Right now I'm going through a collection of Donne, then Crane and Stevens will get some time; maybe I'll throw some Owens in there (and some of the shorter Shelley; sometimes he's too prolix for my tastes).

11:38 PM  

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