“Gassed” by John Singer Sargent.

Things Worth Remembering: Plunging Past This World’s Verge

Wilfred Owen forged indelible images of the Great War and the men like him who died in its trenches.

Welcome back to Douglas Murray’s Sunday column, Things Worth Remembering, where he presents passages from great poets he has committed to memory—and explains why you should, too. To listen to Douglas read the most stirring lines from Wilfred Owen’s “Spring Offensive,” click below:

If there is a single person known as the poet of the First World War, it is Wilfred Owen. The war was, as he wrote in the preface to the book of poems he never lived to see published, “my subject.” 

As his early poetry and letters demonstrate, Owen was infinitely sensitive to the smallest things. He had that “negative capability” admired by Keats to look at a situation and absorb it. If he could have been a Romantic poet, he would have been. He even wrote a poem called “How Do I Love Thee,” like Elizabeth Barrett Browning. But Owen was a romantic who was sent to the trenches.

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