Key quotes from Owen poetry.

A selection of useful quotes from the AS selection of Owen poetry.

HideShow resource information

Strange meeting.

  • "By his dead smile I knew we stood in Hell".
  • "Whatever hope is yours, was my life also".
  • "Something has been left, which must die now."
  • "The pity of war, the pity war distilled. Now men will go content with what we spoiled."
  • "I am the enemy you killed, my friend."
1 of 15


  • "poets' tearful fooling".
  • "Men, gaps for filling:"
  • "Can laugh among the dying, unconcerned."
  • "Alive,he is not vital overmuch; Dying, not mortal overmuch;"
  • "He cannot tell Old men's placidity from his."
  • "By choice they made themselves immune".
2 of 15

Apologia Pro Poemate Meo

  • "more glee than shakes a child."
  • "dropped off fear Behind the barrage"
  • "sailed my spirit surging light and clear".
  • "wound with war's hard wire".
  • "heard music in the silentness of duty;"
  • "These men are worth your tears.You are not worth their merriment."
3 of 15

Anthem for Doomed Youth

  • 'what passing bells for these who die as cattle?'
  • 'no mockeries now for them'
  • 'shrill demented choirs'
  • 'each slow dusk a drawing down of blinds'
4 of 15

Arms and the Boy

  • 'boy try along this bayonet blade'
  • 'long to nuzzle in the hearts of lads'
  • 'God will grow no talons at his heels'
  • 'blind,blunt bullet-leads'
5 of 15


  • 'Dawn massing in the east her melancholy army'
  • repetition of 'but nothing happens'
  • 'flowing flakes that flock, pause, and renew'
  • 'for love of God seems dying'
6 of 15

The show

  • 'and saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth'
  • 'where they writhed and shrivelled, killed'
  • 'all migrants from green fields, intent on mire'
  • 'the fresh severed head of it, my head'
7 of 15

Dulce et Decorum est

  • 'knock-kneed, coughing like hags'
  • 'all went lame; all blind'
  • 'in all my dreams, before my helpless sight'
  • 'watch the white eyes writhing in his face'
  • 'vile incurable sores on innocent tongues'
  • 'children ardent for some desperate glory'
8 of 15


  • 'at home, whispering of fields unsown'
  • 'Think how it wakes the seeds'
  • 'the clays of a cold star'
  • 'what made fatuous sunbeams toil'
9 of 15

The last laugh

  • 'whether he vainly cursed or prayed indeed'
  • 'the Big Gun guffawed'
  • 'childlike, being dead'
  • 'his whole face kissed the mud'
  • 'the Gas hissed'
10 of 15

The Sentry

  • 'gave us hell, for shell on frantic shell'
  • 'left their curse in the den'
  • 'thud! flump! thud!'
  • ''I can't,' he sobbed'
  • 'watch my dreams still'
  • 'I try not to remember these things now'
  • 'I see your lights! But ours had long died out'
11 of 15


  • 'waiting for dark'
  • 'ghastly suit of grey'
  • 'he liked a blood smear down his leg'
  • 'smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years'
  • 'he was drafted out with drums and cheers'
  • 'but not as crowds cheer Goal'
  • 'take whatever pity they may dole'
12 of 15

Mental Cases

  • 'slob their relish'
  • 'leer like skull's teeth wicked'
  • 'surely we have perished sleeping and walk hell'
  • 'dawn breaks open like a wound'
  • 'set-smiling corpses'
  • 'pawing us who dealt them war and madness'
13 of 15


  • 'steam phantoms simmer'
  • 'or men had children'
  • 'writhing for air'
  • 'bones without number'
  • 'digging the rock where Death reputes Peace lies'
  • 'sit soft-chaired in rooms of amber'
  • 'burn rich loads with which we groaned'
14 of 15

A Terre

  • 'can't shake hands now; never shall'
  • 'my glorious ribbons? ripped from my own back'
  • 'I'd willingly be puffy, bald, and patriotic'
  • 'Shelley would tell me. Shelley would be stunned'
  • 'plants that share more peaceably the meadow and the shower'
  • 'easily chased on other sobs and wiped by fresh winds'
15 of 15




Very useful



Very useful

Rosy Clake


Great - thank you :-)






thanks so much! they wre very helpful! :)

Similar English Literature resources:

See all English Literature resources »