This article is about the World War I poem. For the Latin lines by Horace, see Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
Dulce et Decorum est is a poem written by poet Wilfred Owen in 1917, during World War I, and published posthumously in 1920. Owen's poem is known for its horrific imagery and condemnation of war. It was drafted at Craiglockhart in the first half of October 1917 and later revised, probably at Scarborough but possibly Ripon, between January and March 1918. The earliest surviving manuscript is dated 8 October 1917 and addressed to his mother, Susan Owen, with the message "Here is a gas poem done yesterday, (which is not private, but not final)".
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Dulce et Decorum est
The 28-line poem written in shorthand, is narrated by Owen himself. It tells of a group of friends in World War I trudging through the sludge, while drunk with fatigue, they are marching away, from the explosive shells behind them, towards a place of rest. As gas shells begin to fall upon them, the soldiers scramble to put on their gas masks to protect themselves. In the rush, one man does not make it in time or has no mask, therefore chokes on the thick sea of gas enveloping them, as the narrator sees the man yelling out. Owen then has to put the dead man in the back of a wagon.
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