Remembrance Poem of the Week: ‘Dreamers’ by Siegfried Sassoon

  08 Nov '22   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Friday is Armistice Day, and an opportunity to commemorate the end of the First World War, and remember those who have lost their lives in service to their country since 1914. We have just published a collection of poems Owen and Sassoon: The Edinburgh Poems, which collects some of the most powerful war poetry written during the First World War. Our poem of the week is ‘Dreamers’ by Siegfried Sassoon.


Soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time’s tomorrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.
I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.
[Craiglockhart, 1917]
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