Everybody sang!

Pure joy of flight! Terns at the seashore!

Pure joy of flight! Terns at the seashore!


Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on—on—and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away … O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done.

Capt Siegfried Sassoon, Military Cross

Wild Geese against the setting sun!

Wild Geese against the setting sun!

2/Lt Siegfried Sassoon, Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1915

2/Lt Siegfried Sassoon, Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1915

Another of my favourites! Siegfried Sassoon is a war poet who writes about the futility of war.  Here, in this poem, like in “Waiting for Godot“,  Becket‘s Godot or Sassoon’s freedom and its associated happiness never comes! I feel that by ‘ freedom’ he means ‘freedom from strife’. Though we desire it, we are ultimately never free from war.

This poem was written by Sassoon just after the Armistice, the official end to World War I, was declared.

This diatribe against war comes from the words of a soldier who saw the futility of lives lost in the ‘danze macabre’ that was World War I. Unsuccessfully recommended for a Victoria Cross, Sassoon was an exceptionally brave and soldier and an effective leader of men.

The poem, like all good ones, is open to multiple interpretation.

Credits – Wikimedia Commons, here, here and here.

Explore posts in the same categories: nature, poetry, Siegfried Sassoon, war

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6 Comments on “Everybody sang!”

  1. blissbait Says:

    never heard of him
    his words are so glorious
    wide-open for all…

    Thank You for introducing me and for the beautiful pictures! Namaste. 🙂

  2. Ava Says:

    Beautiful. There are so many great poets out there that we dont ever hear about. Thank you.

  3. Thanks Ava, Bliss.

    Since I am not sure that nature poetry is a genre, we are getting a wide variety of poets in this ‘column’.

    Strangely, my blog gets more hits from these poems than my posts.

    Sylvia Plath’s “Mushroom” – embarrassingly so.

    Borrowing crdit from the greats, eh. That, however, was not my intention.

  4. Such beautiful words… and to think I had never heard of 2/Lt Siegfried Sassoon…

    Thank you for sharing this poem and for introducing me to such a glorious poet…

  5. Iniyaal Says:

    Nice poem.. It sounds more like a song. The words linger behind in thought, arising again and again in silence, just like the ceaseless chirping and singing of birds.

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