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The Last Laugh -- Wilfred Owen

Guest poem submitted by Martin Davis:

It suddenly occurred to me that the Minstrels' collection of Wilfred Owen
poems doesn't include this one, which ties in with the unusual perspectives
on warfare theme:
(Poem #1037) The Last Laugh
 'O Jesus Christ!  I'm hit,' he said; and died.
 Whether he vainly cursed, or prayed indeed,
        The Bullets chirped - 'In vain! vain! vain!'
        Machine-guns chuckled, 'Tut-tut! Tut-tut!'
        And the Big Gun guffawed.

 Another sighed, - 'O Mother, Mother! Dad!'
 Then smiled, at nothing, childlike, being dead.
        And the lofty Shrapnel-cloud
        Leisurely gestured, - 'Fool!'
        And the falling splinters tittered.

 'My Love!' one moaned.  Love-languid seemed his mood,
 Till, slowly lowered, his whole face kissed the mud.
        And the Bayonets' long teeth grinned;
        Rabbles of Shells hooted and groaned;
        And the Gas hissed.
-- Wilfred Owen
I'm surprised that this poem isn't more anthologised.  I've always had an
enormous respect for Owen's poetry, and yet only came across this one a
couple of years ago.

If you were looking for examples of alliteration, assonance, onomatopeia and
personification that might catch the interest of a class of disaffected
teenagers, you'd have trouble finding a better poem.  Read it out loud and
you can practically smell the mud in the crater you've just dived into.  But
for me, the poem's unique power and anger is in its vivid depiction of warm,
illogical, emotional humanity being slaughtered by the machines.


[Minstrels Links]

Wilfred Owen:
Poem #132, Dulce Et Decorum Est
Poem #232, Insensibility
Poem #288, Futility
Poem #321, Strange Meeting
Poem #979, The Parable of the Old Man and the Young

This week's theme:
Poem #1033, What the Bullet Sang -- Bret Harte
Poem #1034, Pigtail -- Tadeusz Ròzewicz
Poem #1035, The Hand that Signed the Paper -- Dylan Thomas
Poem #1036, Range Finding -- Robert Frost
Poem #1037, The Last Laugh -- Wilfred Owen

39 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Baba said...

This poem epitomizes all wars that have ever been fought. Though blunt and cruel, this poems serves as a reality check of wars. By personifying the weapons, Owen illustrates how horrific the means of destruction are. And it is ironic that the very things that man created to aid in his benefit would ultimately bring him to his end. This is Wilfred Owen at his best.

viagra online said...

Another silly poem from Wilfred Owen, he is so young to write something valuable. I hope that his style gets better.

Anonymous said...

Im intrigued, how is this a 'silly' poem, when it talks about the cruelty of War? Something that has killed most of mankind. "I hope that his style gets better" Wilfred Owen is dead, but long live his poems.

Anonymous said...

this poem sucks! why? let me tell you. because i dont know anything about this stupid poem and i think Wilfred Owen doesn't even exist i think he is just a fake like all of you stupid comment suckers.

Anonymous said...

hey you stupid anonymous who the hell do you think you are! huh are you freaking crazy? look i come from the beautiful island of Tonga and we learn alot from this Wilfred owen you dumb head. hahahaha..... i think you are silly!!!

Anonymous said...

Guys please! What's the point in arguing about whether or not Owen's poetry is silly? I believe the answer is fairly obvious...

Anonymous said...

you guys are pussies

Anonymous said...

faelu maa aa hhha

Anonymous said...

LOL you guys are such common people .. a waste of space to society!

Anonymous said...

All nonsense waste of time lol

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