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Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)


Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori


In 'Dulce Decorum Est' grim realities has Owen told?
Images he witness bore cut into nerve retina of eyeballs?
“Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots.

But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five Nines that dropped behind.”

Wilfred was a conscientious objector, who never believed
in war. Owen believed he had no right to protest against war,
if he had never fought in it. Wilfred wrote realistic anti-war

poems. “Dulce et Decorum Est” is a protest against war.
The lie “Dulce et Decorum Est pro patria mori” Owen denounces
declaring it is not sweet and honourable to die for your country.

Stark grim dark is contrast between false lie and truth reality
powerfully in an account of friend dying soldier demonstrated
Symptoms of chlorine or phosgene gas are correctly described

The 'misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw
him drowning' are accurate descriptions of poison gas covering battlefield Owen haunted by agony memory horrific deaths declares 'In all my dreams

before my helpless sight He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning' attests. Words 'gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs describes, gassed lungs filled with fluid, producing similar effects, as when a person drowns

in water. ‘Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling’ intones
instant cinematic descriptive reality, suddenly reader you must bear witness, to secret scientific weapons research horrors humankinds worst deeds

“If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,

His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin,
If you could hear at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs (Owen declares)

My friend, you would not tell with such zest
The old lie: Dulce et Decorum Est pro patria mori”

because it is not sweet nor honourable to die such deaths


Copyright © Terence George Craddock

Submitted: Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Edited: Thursday, September 15, 2011

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