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"One Youth Dead"

October 12, 2006

this poem is an attempt at the stule of Wilfred Owen, a modernist WWI poet of immense talent at a very young age. I am attempting to visit one of his central themes–death–in a more round-about way, and also to mimic his use of slant-rhymed couplets.

“One Youth Dead”

Find her, made tiny by the looming rocks.
Clamor to embrace, like the weed that wreaks
its putrid smell of death in her hair.
You will find no trace of her beauty here.
You will find no trace
of a youthful truce.
You will find no trace, no trace of beauty.
At death, it escapes, taking youth’s bounty.
You will find no trace,
No haste.

The form! The form! Ah, her empress locks,
her slender hands, her eyes do look!
At nothing, nothing, formless being,
Time has sent her spirit begging.

You enclose your eyes in ample shade,
and refuse to look at the unmade maid,
hoping her beauty (her life!) be restored
upon the washing of the shore.
Ah, wash! Wash! She is no more,
and all her beauties were taken before,
before her tender heart knew love,
before her faith had took its leave!

Do you find, redeemed, her departed soul
before her youthful cheeks grow cold?
Do you sing a song to make angels come
to witness twice the death of one?
Do you sigh for one who has been so lost
because of her beauty, her youth, your lust?
Dare you cry upon her chest, grown still,
when war from millions more does steal?

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