Sunday, September 8, 2019

Most Important War Poems - 5

BOHEMIANS

Certain people would not clean their buttons, 
Nor polish buckles after latest fashions, 
Preferred their hair long, putties comfortable, 
Barely escaping hanging, indeed hardly able; 
In Bridge and smoking without army cautions 
Spending hours that sped like evil for quickness, 
(While others burnished brasses, earned promotions) 
These were those ones who jested in the trench, 
While others argued of army ways, and wrenched 
What little soul they had still further from shape, 
And died off one by one, or became officers, 
Without the first of dream, the ghost of notions 
Of ever becoming soldiers, or smart and neat, 
Surprised as ever to find the army capable 
Of sounding 'Lights out' to break a game of Bridge, 
As to fear candles would set a barn alight: 
In Artois or Picardy they lie - free of useless fashions.

by Ivor Gurney

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