The Linnet's Wings The Sorrow - Page 31

1918-2018 “I am the enemy you killed, my friend. I knew you in this dark: for so you frowned Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed. I parried; but my hands were loath and cold. Let us sleep now. . . .” This poem has everything for me. T.S. Eliot called it a "technical achievement of great originality" and "one of the most moving pieces of verse inspired by the war." There are lots of critiques regarding Owen's innovative technique, use of pararhyme and use of assonant endings. A strange tale of how a dead soldier descends into hell to meet a slain foe only to realise that in death they are the same, “I am the enemy you killed, my friend." In my home town of Shrewsbury Owen's name appears on the war memorial in the assembly hall where Owen went to school and where my sons also attended. In the grounds of Shrewsbury Abbey is another memorial. "Symmetry" in commemoration of the life and work of Wilfred Owen. The sculpture is by Paul de Monchaux and was unveiled outside Shrewsbury Abbey in June 1993. The line "I am the enemy you killed" is engraved on one side is from " Strange Meeting". The design echoes the symmetries in Owen’s poem as well as the trenches of 1917 and the Sambre-Oise canal in 1918 representing pontoon bridges over the Sambre canal, where Wilfred Owen was killed. The sculpture expresses the significance of the poet as bridge builder and communicator, and the stark shape also represents the structure of the trenches lined with duckboards. Symmetries in the design represent symmetries in Owen's poem strange meeting, from which the inscription is taken. The memorial can also be used as a bench, a safe haven for the weary. --- 31