Henry Reed

(22 February 1914 - 8 December 1986 / Birmingham)

Quotations

  • ''And the frigid burnings of purgatory will not be touched
    By any emollient.''
    Henry Reed (1914-1986), British poet. Chard Whitlow (l. 13-14). . . Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, ed. (1973) Oxford University Press.
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  • ''And pray for me also under the draughty stair.
    As we get older we do not get any younger.

    And pray for Kharma under the holy mountain.''
    Henry Reed (1914-1986), British poet. Chard Whitlow (l. 22-24). . . Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century English Verse, The. Philip Larkin, ed. (1973) Oxford University Press.
  • ''And at least you know

    That maps are of time, not place, so far as the army
    Happens to be concerned—the reason being,
    Is one which need not delay us.''
    Henry Reed (1914-1986), British poet. Judging Distances (l. 6-9). . . Oxford Book of War Poetry, The. Jon Stallworthy, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.
  • ''We can slide it
    Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
    Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
    The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
    They call it easing the Spring.''
    Henry Reed (1914-1986), British poet. Naming of Parts (l. 20-24). . . Oxford Book of War Poetry, The. Jon Stallworthy, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.
  • ''Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
    We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
    We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
    Today we have naming of parts.''
    Henry Reed (1914-1986), British poet. Naming of Parts (l. 1-4). . . Oxford Book of War Poetry, The. Jon Stallworthy, ed. (1984) Oxford University Press.

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Unarmed Combat

In due course of course you will all be issued with
Your proper issue; but until tomorrow,
You can hardly be said to need it; and until that time,
We shall have unarmed combat. I shall teach you.
The various holds and rolls and throws and breakfalls
Which you may sometimes meet.

And the various holds and rolls and throws and breakfalls
Do not depend on any sort of weapon,

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