First World War 1914-1918 (photo, left, is Sassoon, a handsome young man in 1915)
Total Lines: 32
"The Veteran Poets"
Bright, sunlit banners wave as soldiers march;
as Francis Ledwidge, Irishman, parades.
The sight and sound of laughter fill the air:
"To war!" The drum beat stirs all hearts to share.
Bold men now reign; are ready for the dare.
Brave men, for glory, stepping forth as one
as Wilfred Owen's ‘Artist Rifles’ share
as Robert Graves, ‘Goodbye To All’, declares.
Forever brave, their parents cheer as well;
the girls now wave their hankies in the air
as goodbye hugs abound, excitement swells
before cold war is met with deep despair.
Oh, ra-ta-tat, the gleeful drums abound
before the sound of bullets make a hiss.
Sigfried Sassoon of Royal Fusiliers
gives up Owen before the Armistice.
And, Rosenberg's shrill write among the dead
before he's buried with them in a trench.
As Isaac speaks for all; he's put to rest;
his poems on scraps of paper mid the stench.
Gray throngs of people slow to ghostly whirl
and float above that fog in fate's mirage.
The hearts that once were like a dancing girl
now stripped of gaity mid this cortege.
The veteran, with courage, harp and fife
survives the battle has the hardest write
for he remembers faces filled with worms
and frozen eyes who've lost their warmer light.
Their lines no longer writ by death's cruel course,
the last parade describes their final tour.
Reverse the boots upon a saddled horse
as roll of drums, in distance, heard no more.
FORM: blank verse, iambic pentameter.