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Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Futility


              1Move him into the sun--
              2Gently its touch awoke him once,
              3At home, whispering of fields unsown.
              4Always it awoke him, even in France,
              5Until this morning and this snow.
              6If anything might rouse him now
              7The kind old sun will know.

              8Think how it wakes the seeds--
              9Woke, once, the clays of a cold star.
            10Are limbs so dear-achieved, are sides
            11Full-nerved,--still warm,--too hard to stir?
            12Was it for this the clay grew tall?
            13--O what made fatuous sunbeams toil
            14To break earth's sleep at all?


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Wilfred Owen, Poems By Wilfred Owen with an Introduction by Siegfried Sassoon (London: Chatto and Windus, 1921): 25. PR 6029 W4P6 Robarts Library
First publication date: 1918
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: RPO 1996-2000.
Recent editing: 2:2001/12/6

Composition date: 1917 - 1918
Form: sonnet
Rhyme: ababccc dedefff


Other poems by Wilfred Owen