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Absolution Analysis

Author: poem of Siegfried Sassoon Type: poem Views: 29

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The anguish of the earth absolves our eyes

Till beauty shines in all that we can see.

War is our scourge; yet war has made us wise,

And, fighting for our freedom, we are free.

Horror of wounds and anger at the foe,

And loss of things desired; all these must pass.

We are the happy legion, for we know

Time's but a golden wind that shakes the grass.

There was an hour when we were loth to part

From life we longed to share no less than others.

Now, having claimed this heritage of heart,

What need we more, my comrades and my brothers?


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Readers of this poem may be interested to read Regeneration by Pat Barker, which, among other things, depicts the encounter between Dr Rivers and Sassoon at Craiglockhart, the Edinburgh hospital to which Sassoon was sent after he was injured. It tells you a lot about Sassoon and about the circumstances of his return to France in 1917. He still strongly opposed the war, but still wanted to go back, partly to look after his men. Rivers also thinks he may well want to be killed. At the hospital Sassoon also met the poet Wilfrid Owen who was killed in the final days of the war. The poem evokes Sassoon\'s ambivalence about the war - its horror and extreme difficulties, and its capacity to teach truths. Simply living can do this, but war is life write large.

| Posted on 2010-10-01 | by a guest

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Siegfried Sassoon was a soldier that fought in World War 1. When he signed up he was patriotic and pro-war. He believed that you would receive a religious reward for offering up your life for your country. Sassoon wrote “Absolution” before the Battle of the Somme which affected Sassoon’s views towards war. It was after the Battle of the Somme that Sassoon’s poetry began to change dramatically from pro-war to strongly anti-war.

| Posted on 2008-10-05 | by a guest

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