Night of Battle

By Yvor Winters 1900–1968 Yvor Winters

Europe: 1944
as regarded from a great distance

Impersonal the aim
Where giant movements tend;
Each man appears the same;
Friend vanishes from friend.

In the long path of lead
That changes place like light
No shape of hand or head
Means anything tonight.

Only the common will
For which explosion spoke;
And stiff on field and hill
The dark blood of the folk.

Yvor Winters, “Night of Battle” from The Collected Poems of Yvor Winters. Used by permission of Ohio University Press, Athens, Ohio.

Source: Poetry (December 1946).

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE

This poem originally appeared in the December 1946 issue of Poetry magazine

View this poem in its original format

December 1946
 Yvor  Winters

Biography

When Yvor Winters’s publisher and friend Alan Swallow hailed him in 1940 as the “sage of Palo Alto,” he accurately touched on the paradox of Winters’s career: the isolation in which he became admired as a poet, a teacher, and critic of poetry. For Winters, who adopted California early in his career as his permanent home, participated in the major poetic and critical movements of the 20th century—imagism, the expatriate . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT War & Conflict, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION U.S., Western

Poetic Terms Rhymed Stanza

Report a problem with this poem


Your results will be limited to content that appeared in Poetry magazine.

Search Every Issue of Poetry

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.