And here are a couple of my favourite war poems. I love Douglas. Ursus may have something to say about the death imagery... How to Kill
Under the parabola of a ball, a child turning into a man, I looked into the air too long. The ball fell in my hand, it sang in the closed fist: Open Open Behold a gift designed to kill.
Now in my dial of glass appears the soldier who is going to die. He smiles, and moves about in ways his mother knows, habits of his. The wires touch his face: I cry NOW. Death, like a familiar, hears
And look, has made a man of dust of a man of flesh. This sorcery I do. Being damned, I am amused to see the centre of love diffused and the wave of love travel into vacancy. How easy it is to make a ghost.
The weightless mosquito touches her tiny shadow on the stone, and with how like, how infinite a lightness, man and shadow meet. They fuse. A shadow is a man when the mosquito death approaches Keith Douglas
Three weeks gone and the combatants gone returning over the nightmare ground we found the place again, and found the soldier sprawling in the sun.
The frowning barrel of his gun overshadowing. As we came on that day, he hit my tank with one like the entry of a demon.
Look. Here in the gunpit spoil the dishonoured picture of his girl who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht. in a copybook gothic script.
We see him almost with content, abased, and seeming to have paid and mocked at by his own equipment that's hard and good when he's decayed.
But she would weep to see today how on his skin the swart flies move; the dust upon the paper eye and the burst stomach like a cave.
For here the lover and killer are mingled who had one body and one heart. And death who had the soldier singled has done the lover mortal hurt.