Suddenly night crushed out the day and hurled
Her remnants over cloud-peaks, thunder-walled.
Then fell a stillness such as harks appalled
When far-gone dead return upon the world.
There watched I for the Dead; but no ghost woke.
Each one whom Life exiled I named and called.
But they were all too far, or dumbed, or thralled;
And never one fared back to me or spoke.
Then peered the indefinite unshapen dawn
With vacant gloaming, sad as half-lit minds,
The weak-limned hour when sick men’s sighs are drained.
And while I wondered on their being withdrawn,
Gagged by the smothering wing which none unbinds,
I dreaded even a heaven with doors so chained.
Wilfred Owen [British Poet & Soldier] is widely recognized as one of the greatest voices of the First World War. His self-appointed task was to speak for the men in his care, to show the 'Pity of War'. Owen's enduring and influential poetry is evidence of his bleak realism, his energy and indignation, his compassion and his great technical skill. The Wilfred Owen Association was formed in 1989 to commemorate Wilfred Owen's life and work.