August 25th, 2004


unfinished poem by Wilfred Owen

The parentheses indicate places where he hadn't yet decided what to write.


The beautiful, the fair, the elegant,
Is that which pleases us, says Kant,
Without a thought of interest or advantage.

I used to watch men when they spoke of beauty
And measure their enthusiasm. One
An old man, seeing a ( ) setting sun,
Praised it ( ) a certain sense of duty
To the calm evening and his time of life.
I know another man that never says a Beauty
But of a horse; ( )

Men seldom speak of beauty, beauty as such,
Not even lovers think about it much.
Women of course consider it for hours
In mirrors; ( )

A shrapnel ball
Just where the wet skin glistened when he swam.
Like a full-opened sea-anemone.
We both said 'What a beauty! What a beauty, lad!'
I knew that in that flower he saw a hope
Of living on, and seeing again the roses of his home.
Beauty is that which pleases and delights
'Not bringing personal advantage' - Kant.
I laughed. But later on I heard
That a canker worked into that crimson flower
And that he sank with it ( ) over
And laid it with the anemones off Dover

--Wilfred Owen

WOMDA archive

I visited the WOMDA archive again today, this time to check out some of their digital video of WWI film footage.

The clips are all very, very short, I think to aid downloading speed, but they're also captioned very well, including interesting annotations like telling you to note the hairstyle of one of the soldiers shown because it was in vogue at the Front in 1916. It's worth a look if you have a fast connection. I viewed the clips in QuickTime.

A long while back, I bought World War I Films of the Silent Era on DVD, which is pretty good. Collapse )