Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)


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April is National Poetry Month, and I plan to post one poem per day every day this month (If you have a favorite poem that you’d like me to share, feel free to email it to me).

I found today’s poem after a reader on Reddit, Jack, suggested that I read some of Siegfried Sassoon’s works. I have never read anything by Sassoon before, so I’d like to thank Jack for his recommendation. Below the fold is a poem by Sassoon that I thought you might appreciate.


Soldiers are citizens of death’s grey land,
Drawing no dividend from time’s to-morrows.
In the great hour of destiny they stand,
Each with his feuds, and jealousies, and sorrows.
Soldiers are sworn to action; they must win
Some flaming, fatal climax with their lives.
Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin
They think of firelit homes, clean beds and wives.

I see them in foul dug-outs, gnawed by rats,
And in the ruined trenches, lashed with rain,
Dreaming of things they did with balls and bats,
And mocked by hopeless longing to regain
Bank-holidays, and picture shows, and spats,
And going to the office in the train.

–Siegfried Sassoon, Collected Poems, 1908-1956 (Faber & Faber; 1986).