Siegfried Sassoon was a poet. He wrote his most famous works (those that endure) about the horrors of World War I and its aftermath. I present below one small example of his work, in the hope that some who read it may be inspired and/or moved to seek out more. It touches primarily on the baseness of the war and even more of many of those who fought in it. It is a condemnation of anyone who returned from the trenches unscathed, both for cowardice if in body and for corruption if in emotion.


You told me, in your drunken-boasting mood,
How once you butchered prisoners. That was good!
I am sure you felt no pity while they stood
Bent and cowed and scared, as prisoners should.

How did you do them in? Come, don't be shy:
You know how I love to hear how Germans die,
Downstairs in dug-outs. "Kamerad!" they cry;
Then squeal like stoats when bombs begin to fly.

And you? I know your record. You went sick
When orders looked unwholesome: then, with trick
And lie, you wangled home. And here you are,
Still talking big and boozing in a bar.

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