November 11, 2013

Wilfred Owen - Anthem for Doomed Youth

Wilfred Owen - Anthem for Doomed Youth [Source: Poetry Foundation]:

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells,
      Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
      And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
      Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.
      The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

"Many people have written about the extent to which Church attendance has gone down, religious convictions vary, multiply, fragment. But in my view churches are places of repose. But in many respects in our societies the sacred has moved out of the churches and is now known in museums and  memorials like this one where questions of moral significance are asked, as indeed has been the case since this site opened in 1929. And in many ways I think what we need to do is to appreciate the extent to which our own lives are explicable only in terms of the mixed, tragic, and profound history of the men who went to war in 1914 and who themselves used the term lost generation to describe who they were." - Professor Jay M. Winter, the Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale, from his speech given at The Auckland War Memorial Museum in New Zealand on May 5, 2011 called, "The Lost Generation."

"Those who died were perhaps the best of their generation. They were certainly perceived that way. As men of uncommon courage, of clarity of vision, of moral standing. And as such they stand to this day, independent of the miserable and in my view criminal war in which they give their lives. That is why it is necessary to glorify those who die in war without glorifying war itself. Because the sacrifice is much greater than the cause for which it was undertaken." - Professor Jay M. Winter.

Jay M. Winter: The Lost Generation - LATE at the Museum [Auckland Museum]

Sean Bean reads Wilfred Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth