The Linnet's Wings The Sorrow - Page 27

I 1918-2018 I never met my paternal grandfather, he died long before I was born. I would like to have met him; maybe asked him about his World War I experiences but I doubt he would have told me. Even my father would not talk about World War II until later life because old soldiers never shared their memories of what war was like back then. I read the War Poets widely, but one writer stood out for me. A soldier who was born the same year as my grandfather, attained the same rank in the army as he did and trained as an officer with the Artists Rifles, though not the same year as my grandfather was there. Perhaps, I thought, I would learn some sense of what the Great War was like, the ugly truths rather than being lulled by patriotic propaganda of the time, to share something of what my grandfather may also have experienced. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori which is taken from the Roman poet Horace and means "it is sweet and honourable to die for one's country". The Shropshire poet, Wilfred Owen died on the 4th November 1918 while attempting to lead his men across the Sambre canal at Ors in France. He died just one week before the Armistice of 11 November 1918. He was 25 years of age. Born in Oswestry, he grew up in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and appears to have had an enjoyable childhood, exploring the local countryside and visiting local antiquities, the many abbeys and study relics at the ancient Roman ruins near Wroxeter. Sometime in 1913 he wrote Uriconium An Ode, one of two lyric poems (The Swift). Significantly, Uriconium was destroyed by war, a buried sin. Between January 1917 and November 1918 Wilfred Owen wrote the eight poems for which he is mainly remembered, a more mature poetry than his previous work full of unsettling realism. THE SENTRY (January 1917) EXPOSURE (February 1917) DULCE ET DECORUM EST (August 1917) ANTHEM FOR DOOMED YOUTH (September 1917) INSENSIBILITY (November 1917) FUTILITY (May 1918) THE SEND-OFF (May 1918) STRANGE MEETING (September 1918) In May 1917, whilst being treated for shell-shock at Craiglockhart hospital near Edinburgh, Owen met fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon, a published poet, had been awarded the Military Cross 27