Absolution

By Siegfried Sassoon 1886–1967 Siegfried Sassoon
The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes 
Till beauty shines in all that we can see. 
War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise, 
And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.
 
Horror of wounds and anger at the foe, 
And loss of things desired; all these must pass. 
We are the happy legion, for we know 
Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.
 
There was an hour when we were loth to part 
From life we longed to share no less than others. 
Now, having claimed this heritage of heart, 
What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?
 

Source: The Old Huntsman and Other Poems (1917)

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Poet Siegfried Sassoon 1886–1967

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Living, Death, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

 Siegfried  Sassoon

Biography

Siegfried Sassoon is best remembered for his angry and compassionate poems of the First World War, which brought him public and critical acclaim. Avoiding the sentimentality and jingoism of many war poets, Sassoon wrote of the horror and brutality of trench warfare and contemptuously satirized generals, politicians, and churchmen for their incompetence and blind support of the war. His later poems, often concerned with religious . . .

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SUBJECT Living, Death, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Poetic Terms Quatrain, Rhymed Stanza

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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