Sassoon, Sigfried. “Aftermath.” Modern British “Poetry. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1920. pp 220. Print.
This is a heartbreaking poem and the message is super clear. This is a plaintive cry to Sassoon’s fellow veterans, Do not get caught up in the glories of war! Do not let anyone tell you war is an excusable act just because time has softened your memory. I think there is a country song out there with the same message, but I think it was directed towards people not forgetting about September 11, 2001. The message is the same: don’t become complacent and forgiving when you have suffered so much. Sassoon clearly did.
Author fact: There are only two poems I am reading this month. Turner and Sassoon were friends.
Poem trivia: PBS has a great site dedicated to the Great War. Supposedly, you can listen to an audio recording of “Aftermath” but I couldn’t get it to play (which is why I didn’t include the link here). Google it for yourself if you are curious.
BookLust Twist: More Book Lust in the chapter called “Living Through War” (p 237).