Guide Where Hopes Lay Strewn

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To say that Aaron's informative years were traumatic, would be one hell of an understatement. His violent father was a sharp contrast to his loving mother who .
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I've been ill," The Connecticut Post reported. That's where you lay your loved ones to rest in peace. That place is a mess out there. Hopefully she knows what she has done. Mattox said her mother's gravestone had been moved a short distance away and placed above another person's remains. Her son discovered the problem a few months ago, when things looked out of place and he compared the scene to a photo taken when the grave was in the correct spot.

In Connecticut, the state public health department must approve new cemeteries, but no state agency is specifically charged with cemetery oversight. Park Cemetery was established in , and an association board oversaw its operation and maintenance for decades.

Jansen had noticed a gradual decline since the s, with junk and tree limbs piling up.

She wondered where the money families had paid for perpetual upkeep was going, and went to the local probate court seeking access to the financial records. Jansen, whose relatives' graves were not disturbed, said it appears that the board hasn't existed since the early s and that oversight was eventually left to LaPrade and her husband, Daniel. Ganim, the probate judge, earlier this year asked police to investigate. When they searched the property, they found financial records in disarray and unopened mail from 20 years ago.

What happened to the perpetual upkeep funds remains unclear. Meanwhile, Jansen and others have formed a new board with the goal of restoring the cemetery — and the trust of the families. In April , his battallion was moved to the town of Mametz. Its conventional form and metre and traditional poetic diction serve to restrain and so make more poignant its emotion.

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Imagine writing these lines as a 22 year-old while waiting for battle to begin. Three days later it did begin, and by the end of the first day Hodgson lay dead, along with 30, other young men. I, that on my familiar hill Saw with uncomprehending eyes A hundred of thy sunsets spill Their fresh and sanguine sacrifice, Ere the sun swings his noonday sword Must say good-bye to all of this; — By all delights that I shall miss, Help me to die, O Lord.

Everything changed after But even as the horror and the pity and the anger burned in the poetry of those years there remained a sporadic awareness that the human mind may still be struck by, and even have a heightened awareness of, the unexpected visitations of beauty, even a strange kind of joy, in times of fear and darkness. This minor strain but persistent strain in the verse of the period is represented below by Isaac Rosenberg.

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He had already begun writing poetry by the time he left school at 14 and was planning to become an artist when war intervened. Only about 5 ft. His early attempts at verse were encouraged by Edward Marsh and Laurence Binyon and he continued to write during his three years in France before being killed coming off night patrol on the Somme in April His poetry was collected and seen through to publication by Siegfried Sassoon. Sombre the night is. And though we have our lives, we know What sinister threat lies there.

Dragging these anguished limbs, we only know This poison-blasted track opens on our camp — On a little safe sleep. But hark! The pointlessness of the unspeakable slaughter of the Somme brought to an end any lingering notions of the glory and romance of war — at least among those who experienced it first-hand. After , the dominant themes became the brute reality of the trenches, the mental and physical agonies, and an outpouring of bitterness against armchair warriors and blow-hard patriots. And above even this storm of anger there arose a note of heart-piercing lament at the waste and the pity.

The wheels lurched over the sprawled dead But pained them not, though their bones crunched. Many could not accept this as poetry, including W. Yeats who excluded Wilfred Owen and others from his anthology. But he became the first to use poetry to describe the reality of war and to criticise the attitudes of politicians and opinion-leaders back home. By , he was the acknowledged leader of the new wave of war poets. He then used his contacts to have the following statement — with its final devastating sentence — read out in Parliament:.

To minimise the embarrassment and the publicity, the authorities refused to court martial Sassoon a well known and much admired officer. Dim, gradual thinning of the shapeless gloom Shudders to drizzling daybreak that reveals Disconsolate men who stamp their sodden boots And turn dulled, sunken faces to the sky Haggard and hopeless. They, who have beaten down The stale despair of night, must now renew Their desolation in the truce of dawn, Murdering the livid hours that grope for peace.

Yet these, who cling to life with stubborn hands, Can grin through storms of death and find a gap In the clawed, cruel tangles of his defence. They march from safety, and the bird-sung joy Of grass-green thickets, to the land where all Is ruin, and nothing blossoms but the sky That hastens over them where they endure Sad, smoking, flat horizons, reeking woods, And foundered trench-lines volleying doom for doom. O my brave brown companions, when your souls Flock silently away, and the eyeless dead Shame the wild beast of battle on the ridge, Death will stand grieving in that field of war Since your unvanquished hardihood is spent.

And through some mooned Valhalla there will pass Battalions and battalions, scarred from hell; The unreturning army that was youth; The legions who have suffered and are dust. Wilfred Owen was also invalided to Craiglockhart Hospital after serving three years in France. The older man Sassoon was 30 introduced Owen to other poets including Graves and Nichols.

In the whole war, Owen spent only four or five weeks at the front; yet the intensity of the experience was such that it was he who captured, more than any other poet before or since, the appalling reality experienced by hundreds of thousands of young men who had lived and died in the trenches and who would otherwise, he felt, have had no voice. On October 1st, in what turned out to be the last week of the war, Owen was killed trying to lead his unit cross the Sambre Canal. Earlier that day he had captured a machine gun and turned it on the enemy, an action for which he was posthumously awarded the Military Cross.

The telegram announcing his death arrived at his home in Shrewsbury on the day the Armistice was signed, his mother reading it as the bells of the Abbey church were ringing to celebrate the end of the war. Our brains ache, in the merciless iced east winds that knive Wearied we keep awake because the night is silent… Low, drooping flares confuse our memory of the salient Worried by silence, sentries whisper, curious, nervous, But nothing happens. Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire, Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.

Northward, incessantly, the flickering gunnery rumbles, Far off, like a dull rumour of some other war. What are we doing here? The poignant misery of dawn begins to grow … We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag stormy. Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army Attacks once more in ranks on shivering ranks of gray, But nothing happens. Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling for our faces — We cringe in holes, back on forgotten dreams, and stare, snow Deep into grassier ditches.

So we drowse, sun-dozed, Littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses. Is it that we are dying? Slowly our ghosts drag home: glimpsing the sunk fires, glozed With crusted dark-red jewels; crickets jingle there; For hours the innocent mice rejoice: the house is theirs; Shutters and doors, all closed: on us the doors are closed, — We turn back to our dying. Since we believe not otherwise can kind fires burn; Nor ever suns smile true on child, or field, or fruit.

Tonight, this frost will fasten on this mud and us, Shrivelling many hands, puckering foreheads crisp. The burying-party, picks and shovels in their shaking grasp, Pause over half-known faces. All their eyes are ice, But nothing happens. On leave, Owen habitually carried photographs of the wounded — ready to take out and thrust in front of anyone mouthing conventional platitudes about the war.

lay strewn / lie strewn

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. Quick, boys! In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If you can bear any more, there is another common strand in the new poetry of war that deserves to be mentioned: the growing awareness that wounds could be mental as well as physical. But it was not only officers who suffered mental wounds and Owen, especially, was determined to recognise and represent this. Several of his poems describe what trench warfare could do to the minds of brave men.

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Perhaps the one that most directly addresses this is Mental Cases — to my mind one of the greatest poems of the war. Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight? Stroke on stroke of pain,- but what slow panic, Gouged these chasms round their fretted sockets? Surely we have perished Sleeping, and walk hell; but who these hellish? Memory fingers in their hair of murders, Multitudinous murders they once witnessed.

Wading sloughs of flesh these helpless wander, Treading blood from lungs that had loved laughter. Therefore still their eyeballs shrink tormented Back into their brains, because on their sense Sunlight seems a blood-smear; night comes blood-black; Dawn breaks open like a wound that bleeds afresh. This was an experience so intense and extraordinary that many came to feel that it could not be understood or even imagined by those who had not been there.

And this in turn gave rise to an intense sense of identity and solidarity, even love, between the men who had been through it together.


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Reading the poems of Nichols, Owen, Sassoon and others, it seems that this may have been just as true in the Great War. It's not the first time event opponents have tried to ruin the mass ride. Order by Oldest first Newest first Highest scored Lowest scored. Loading comments Suspend Last Updated:.

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