Among all of the Great War poets Britain produced, Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) stands as the greatest. Like a poet he greatly admired, John Keats, he was dead at the age of 25 but in his short life he managed to find his own distinctive poetic voice and used it to write poems of great emotive power and technical skill. ‘Greater Love’ is a fine example of what makes Wilfred Owen England’s pre-eminent poet of the First World War. For Remembrance Day and the centenary of the Armistice, here is one of Owen’s most moving poems.
‘Greater Love’ by Wilfred Owen
Red lips are not so red
As the stained stones kissed by the English dead.
Kindness of wooed and wooer
Seems shame to their love pure.
O Love, your eyes lose lure
When I behold eyes blinded in my stead!