Poem Sampler

War Poems

Poems and prose about armed combat.

by The Editors

Brian Turner, poet and veteran of the war in Iraq, wrote a journal for us about his experiences on the battlefields in Iraq. His entries can be found here. Turner’s first collection of poems Here, Bullet (Alice James, 2005) continues the tradition of soldiers writing poems from the battlefield.

Below, you will find other poems about war as well as several essays about that subject from previous issues of Poetry magazine.

Essays from Poetry

Poems, Bombs, and the Road to Baghdad by Matthew Doherty (December 2004)

Sarajevo Blues by Aleksandar Hemon (April 2005)

Romance and Reality by Lt. Gen. William James Lennox, Jr. (April 2005)

Like Soldiers Marching by Rachel Cohen (January 2005)

How With This Rage by Chris Hedges (January 2005)

Poems from the PoetryFoundation.Org Archive

Love among the Ruins by Robert Browning

On the Civil War on the East Coast of the United States of North America 1860-64 by Alan Dugan

The Fury of Aerial Bombardment by Richard Eberhart

Concord Hymn by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Battle Hymn of the Republic by Julia Ward Howe

Armistice by Sophie Jewett

Gunga Din by Rudyard Kipling

Camouflaging the Chimera by Yusef Komunyakaa

Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight by Vachel Lindsay

September, 1918 by Amy Lowell

If We Must Die by Claude McKay

Sonnet XVIII: On the Late Massacre in Piemont by John Milton

Requiem for the First Half of Split by Alice Notley

Anthem for Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen

Arms and the Boy by Wilfred Owen

Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen

Grass by Carl Sandburg

Dreamers by Siegfried Sassoon

The Conscientious Objector by Karl Jay Shapiro

“After Experience Taught Me ...” by W. D. Snodgrass

At the Bomb Testing Site by William Stafford

The Lost Pilot by James Tate

The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Apparition of the Exile by Bruce Weigl

Vigil Strange I Kept on the Field one Night by Walt Whitman

High Noon at Los Alamos by Eleanor Wilner

The French Revolution as It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement by William Wordsworth

Easter, 1916 by William Butler Yeats

Originally Published: February 27, 2006


On February 18, 2009 at 3:44pm jim lewis wrote:
looking for poem heard abt 1955. One day at midnight two dead soldiers rose to fight. back to back they faced each other, pulled out their swords and shot each other. Going in before you to sit behind you and tell you something i know nothing about-----------


Poetryfoundation.org welcomes comments that foster dialogue and cultivate an open community on the site. Comments on articles must be approved by the site moderators before they appear on the site. By submitting a comment, you give the Poetry Foundation the right to publish it. Please note: We require comments to include a name and e-mail address. Read more about our privacy policy.

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.