Attack

By Siegfried Sassoon 1886–1967 Siegfried Sassoon
At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun 
In the wild purple of the glow'ring sun, 
Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud 
The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one, 
Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire. 
The barrage roars and lifts. Then, clumsily bowed 
With bombs and guns and shovels and battle-gear, 
Men jostle and climb to, meet the bristling fire. 
Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear, 
They leave their trenches, going over the top, 
While time ticks blank and busy on their wrists, 
And hope, with furtive eyes and grappling fists, 
Flounders in mud. O Jesus, make it stop!

Source: Collected Poems (1918)

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Poet Siegfried Sassoon 1886–1967

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

Subjects Religion, Faith & Doubt, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism, Horror

 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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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Religion, Faith & Doubt, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict, Mythology & Folklore, Heroes & Patriotism, Horror

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Georgian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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