War Poems - Poems For War - The Next War

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The Next War - Poem by Wilfred Owen

War's a joke for me and you,
Wile we know such dreams are true.
- Siegfried Sassoon

Out there, we've walked quite friendly up to Death,-
Sat down and eaten with him, cool and bland,-
Pardoned his spilling mess-tins in our hand.
We've sniffed the green thick odour of his breath,-
Our eyes wept, but our courage didn't writhe.
He's spat at us with bullets and he's coughed
Shrapnel. We chorussed when he sang aloft,
We whistled while he shaved us with his scythe.

Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
No soldier's paid to kick against His powers.
We laughed, -knowing that better men would come,
And greater wars: when each proud fighter brags
He wars on Death, for lives; not men, for flags.


Comments about The Next War by Wilfred Owen

  • Rookie - 24 Points Ray Gibbs (1/21/2015 10:42:00 PM)

    heart of matter War... (Report) Reply

    16 person liked.
    14 person did not like.
  • Rookie Vanni Pule' (6/23/2006 4:55:00 AM)

    Death is personified but it fails to stir up emotions of fear and grief. The soldier on the front becomes insensitive to the fear of death. Although it can come in many forms, the soldier comes to accept the gamble.

    In the first verse, death is the explosion that is responsible for “spilling the mess-tins in our hands”. It is the gas attack and the soldiers have “sniffed the green thick odour of his breath. The bullets are “coughed” and the shrapnel is “spat”. But at the end of this verse death becomes the traditional harvester with his scythe killing indiscriminately.

    Death cannot be an enemy to the soldier. It has become a constant companion because the soldier has killed too: “we leagued with him”. How can the soldier hold it against Death if war itself is part of the conspiracy of killing? “No soldier’s paid to kick against His powers.”

    Wars will come and wars will go and Death will always be there on the side of the allies and on the side of the enemy – fighting “for lives; not men, for flags”. It is not concerned with allegiances, ideologies, principles or patriotism. So, whatever will cause it, the next war will be another triumph for Death. (Report) Reply

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Poems About War

  1. 1. A War Song To Englishmen , William Blake
  2. 2. Love And War , Ovid
  3. 3. The Next War , Wilfred Owen
  4. 4. Sekhmet, The Lion-Headed Goddess Of War , Margaret Atwood
  5. 5. War Is Never Over , Cecil L. Harrison
  6. 6. A Prayer In Time Of War , Alfred Noyes
  7. 7. From A German War Primer , Bertolt Brecht
  8. 8. In California During The Gulf War , Denise Levertov
  9. 9. War Some More , Sandra Osborne
  10. 10. Lessons Of The War , Henry Reed
  11. 11. Do Not Weep, Maiden, For War Is Kind , Stephen Crane
  12. 12. Two Poems From The War , Archibald MacLeish
  13. 13. Nefarious War , Li Po
  14. 14. A Meditation In Time Of War , William Butler Yeats
  15. 15. On Receiving News Of The War , Isaac Rosenberg
  16. 16. The Next War , Robert Graves
  17. 17. Meditations In Time Of Civil War , William Butler Yeats
  18. 18. Spring In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  19. 19. Repression Of War Experience , Siegfried Sassoon
  20. 20. Memorial Day For The War Dead , Yehuda Amichai
  21. 21. On Being Asked For A War Poem , William Butler Yeats
  22. 22. War Song , John Davidson
  23. 23. War Of The Worlds , john tiong chunghoo
  24. 24. Sonnet 46: Mine Eye And Heart Are At A M.. , William Shakespeare
  25. 25. Woman And War , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  26. 26. The War Films , Sir Henry Newbolt
  27. 27. War-Music , Henry Van Dyke
  28. 28. Dusk In War Time , Sara Teasdale
  29. 29. War Music [down On Your Knees, Achilles] , Christopher Logue
  30. 30. At The War Office, London (Affixing The .. , Thomas Hardy
  31. 31. War...War...War... , joe yourmom
  32. 32. To Lucasta On Going To The War - For The.. , Robert Graves
  33. 33. There Was Crimson Clash Of War. , Stephen Crane
  34. 34. Song-Books Of The War , Siegfried Sassoon
  35. 35. War Profit Litany , Allen Ginsberg
  36. 36. At The War Office, London. , Thomas Hardy
  37. 37. The Holy War , Rudyard Kipling
  38. 38. A Date With An Anti-War Protester , Chuck Audette
  39. 39. In Spite Of War , Angela Morgan
  40. 40. War Song , Thomas Moore
  41. 41. - Love Is War! , Ronberge (anno primo)
  42. 42. War And Peace , Franklin Pierce Adams
  43. 43. Man's Civil War , Robert Southwell
  44. 44. Tell Brave Deeds Of War , Stephen Crane
  45. 45. The War After The War , John Le Gay Brereton
  46. 46. Fortune Of War , Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  47. 47. They Gave Us A War That Nobody Wanted , Patrick O'Donnell
  48. 48. On Being Asked To Write A Poem Against T.. , Hayden Carruth
  49. 49. A Radical War Song , Thomas Babbington Macaulay
  50. 50. War , Charles Wagner
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