Sunday, May 27, 2012

Tuesday Poem - The General by Siegfried Sassoon

The General

‘Good-morning; good-morning!’ the General said

When we met him last week on our way to the line.

Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’em dead,

And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine.

‘He’s a cheery old card,’ grunted Harry to Jack

As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack.

                  *          *          *  

But he did for them both by his plan of attack. 

I have just read Pat Barker's Regeneration, which imagines the 'strange meeting' between Sassoon and Owen at the shell shock hospital in Scotland during WW1.  And I remembered how much I had liked this poem when I read it first many many moons ago.

1 comment:

  1. Yes a most memorable poem this one. Not bitter, humorous even but tragic and so succinct. Thanks for posting this :-)