Guest poem submitted by Suresh Ramasubramanian :
(Poem #385) Base Details
If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath, I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base, And speed glum heroes up the line to death. You'd see me with my puffy, petulant face, Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel, Reading the Roll of Honour. 'Poor young chap,' I'd say --- 'I used to know his father well; Yes, we've lost heavily in this last scrap.' And when the war is done and youth stone dead, I'd toddle safely home and die --- in bed.
It's the sort of poem which really catches Sassoon's mood, a jaded contempt for the war and all it stands for. He's struck the right note for a John Bull sort of officer - the sort who stays behind the lines while others (like Spender) have to do all the dirty work of dying for their country. A refreshing change from the sort of blood and glory patriotism you'd get in most of the romantic poets like Byron. Suresh.