Episode

Classic Poetry Aloud

Classic Poetry Aloud

Arts, Literature

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Literature 82

Classic Poetry Aloud gives voice to poetry through podcast recordings of the great poems of the past. Our library of poems is intended as a resource for anyone interested in reading and listening to poetry. For us, it's all about the listening, and how hearing a poem can make it more accessible, as well as heightening its emotional impact. See more at: www.classicpoetryaloud.com

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Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen

February 3rd, 2008

Episode 131 of 608 episodes

Owen read by Classic Poetry Aloud: http://www.classicpoetryaloud.com/ Giving voice to the poetry of the past. --------------------------------------------- Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen (1893 – 1918) It seemed that out of the battle I escaped Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped Through granites which Titanic wars had groined. Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned, Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred. Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared With piteous recognition in fixed eyes, Lifting distressful hands as if to bless. And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall; With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained; Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground, And no guns thumped, or down the flues made moan. "Strange, friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn." "None," said the other, "Save the undone years, The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours, Was my life also; I went hunting wild After the wildest beauty in the world, Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair, But mocks the steady running of the hour, And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here. For by my glee might many men have laughed, And of my weeping something has been left, Which must die now. I mean the truth untold, The pity of war, the pity war distilled. Now men will go content with what we spoiled. Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled. They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress, None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress. Courage was mine, and I had mystery; Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery; To miss the march of this retreating world Into vain citadels that are not walled. Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels I would go up and wash them from sweet wells, Even with truths that lie too deep for taint. I would have poured my spirit without stint But not through wounds; not on the cess of war. Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were. I am the enemy you killed, my friend. I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed. I parried; but my hands were loath and cold. Let us sleep now..." For other readings of Wilfred Owen's work, visit: http://classicpoetryaloud.wordpress.com/category/Wilfred-Owen/ This was taken off Classic Poetry Aloud in November, after technical difficulties. Here are the other poems of War Poetry Week: The Soldier by Rupert Brooke http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/entry/2008-02-02T04_04_52-08_00 Band of Brother Speech by William Shakespeare http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/entry/2007-11-08T00_05_27-08_00 Ball's Bluff by Herman Melville http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/entry/2007-11-07T00_09_58-08_00 The Man with the Wooden Leg by Katherine Mansfield http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/entry/2007-11-05T23_57_21-08_00 Fears In Solitude by Samuel Taylor Coleridge http://classicpoetryaloud.podomatic.com/entry/2007-11-04T23_21_47-08_00

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