oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen


From Undertones of War, chapter 10, "A Home From Home."

"Hoarse and ponderous roars of high explosive in the orchard outside interrupted that night, which we unwillingly finished in the cellar. Englebelmer, indeed, was now entering upon a dark period. Its green turf under trees loaded with apples was daily struck and shattered, and the paths and entrances gagged with rubble, plaster and woodwork. Still, we explored the church, into which opened a mysterious tunnel; as if on holiday, we examined the brightly painted saints and the other sacred objects from gallery to vault; and, hard by, found a large collection of the Englebelmer parish magazine, which was and was not interesting."

"The heart of the village is masked with its hedges and orchards from almost all ground observation. That heart nevertheless bleeds. The old homes are razed to the ground; all but one or two, which play involuntary tricks upon probability, balancing themselves like mad acrobats. One has been knocked out in such a way that its thatched roof, almost uninjured, has dropped over its broken body like a tea-cosy. The church maintains a kind of conceptional shape, and has a clifflike beauty in the sunlight; but as at this ecclesiastical corner visitors are sometimes killed we may, in general, allow distance to lend enchantment. Up that naked road is the stern eye of Beaumont Hamel--turn, Amaryllis, turn--this way the tourist's privacy is preserved by ruins and fruitful branches."

--Edmund Blunden
Tags: blunden, wwi quotes

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