Futility

Move him into the sun—
Gently its touch awoke him once,
At home, whispering of fields unsown.
Always it woke him, even in France,
Until this morning and this snow.
If anything might rouse him now
The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds,—
Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides,
Full-nerved—still warm—too hard to stir?
Was it for this the clay grew tall?
—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil  
To break earth's sleep at all?

by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Welcome to National Poetry Month. This poem arrived in my inbox today, and I concur it's quite right to begin the month with it. There is so much packed into its 14 lines.

Wilfred Owen died in WWI, aged about 25. And it begs the question, do they still make soldier-poets, and send them off to war? Or does war make poets of them? Do they carry futility with them, or merely bring it home?

You can decide.

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