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A war poem

Becky’s history curriculum this year includes World War I, and as part of her coursework, she was supposed to imagine herself as a Wilfred Owen and write a poem about war.

All I can say is that, parental bias aside, I find it amazing that such a piece can be written by a 14-year-old who never even watches movies about wars. It goes without saying that she got the highest possible grade for it.

Among the cannons that explode,
We stand and pray and yearn,
After this fight, no matter what,
To home, we will return.
The gas creeps in, and kills the slow.
But there’s no time to mourn.
We will be strong, we will prevail,
To home, we must return.
The young ones die, so quickly here.
Too much they haven’t learned.
They came for fun, and saw the truth.
To home, they won’t return.
I see the blood, I see the guts,
These sights make my eyes burn.
The enemy is gaining strength,
I don’t think we’ll return.
The fireworks that light the air,
And make it swirl and churn.
They aren’t of the happy sort,
Can we please now return?
There’s no life visible at all,
There stands a lonely fern.
Everything has been so destroyed,
Dear God, can we return?
Our rations are diminishing,
There’s not a grain of corn.
We will not live for very long,
Will nobody return?
But we must keep our hopes alive,
Though we’re half starved and worn.
One phrase must keep our spirits up:
To home, we will return.


Becky first wanted to post the poem on her own blog, but then decided that my larger audience would provide better publicity. As they say, printed with author’s permission.


  1. Sharon

    You’ve good reason to be very proud parents. I know of few WWI-knowledgable adults who could have done better; or even as well. Congratulations, Becky.

  2. Yan & Tamila

    Wow. We are speechless. We have no speech. We are like Superman on cryptonite. Child… too… brilliant…

  3. Vince

    So, what I meant to say was:

    That’s good. Very good. And I speak as a lover of poetry and a published poet.

    Off now to get caffeine.

  4. Nathan

    Bex, pay no attention to Vince. He’s lives in the wilderness and rarely has any human contact. 😀

    And, yes. Most excellent work.

  5. mama

    My skin go goose and i can not understand how a 14 year old can wright so stong words! Mama. I always know that she is the best.

  6. Becky

    Hi people and thank you for the lovely comments!
    I have told by my parents to tell everyone:
    I AM CURRENTLY IN CHINA. Like, rite this moment! eek!

  7. Natasha

    Becka, it’s a 3 thumbs up poem! Wow! It’s so emotional, very expressive, and amazingly deep! Hats down!

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