Friday, 1 August 2014

Preface


Let us mark today, the centennary of the declaration of World War 1 with the poet who gave us the three monumental words the old lie on the gracefulness of dying for king and country, the poet Wilfred Owen.

He was killed in the last week of the war and below is the preface he never got to see himself on print. Words on the necessity of the artist because his words are needed, which are sadly no less relevant today. His words are accompanied here with the light of hope's stubbornness and the insistence of revelation by Juan Zero:

Juan Zero, From the series Free Syria 2, February 19, 2013.
Shown courtesy of Juan Zero.

Preface


By Wilfred Owen


This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. 
Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, 


except War.
Above all I am not concerned with Poetry.
My subject is War, and the pity of War.
The Poetry is in the pity.
Yet these elegies are to this generation. 
This is in no sense consolatory. 

They may be to the next. 
All a poet can do today is warn. 
That is why the true Poets must be truthful.


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