Sunday, 30 December 2018

World War I Cover from the United Kingdom

On Monday I got a cover from the United Kingdom.

World War I Centenary (two from set of six) (issued 20-09-2018)
The right stamp shows two stanzas of Wilfred Owen's famous poem Anthem for Doomed Youth. Wilfred Owen was one of the most famous poets of World War I. He enlisted in 1915, but already in 1916 he was diagnosed as suffering from shell shock and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh for treatment. There he made friends in Edinburgh's artistic and literary circles and also wrote Anthem for Doomed Youth in 1917. In July 1918 he returned to active service in France. Wilfred Owen was killed in action on the 4th November 1918. In his poems he deals with the horrors of trenches and gas warfare and thus he stood in stark contrast to the public perception of war at the time and to the confidently patriotic verse written by earlier war poets.

Thank You very much William!


Anthem for Doomed Youth

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 goodbyes.
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.

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