Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ZERO, by EDMUND CHARLES BLUNDEN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ZERO, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O rosy red, o torrent splendour
Last Line: It's plain we were born for this, naught else.
Alternate Author Name(s): Blunden, Edmund
Subject(s): World War I; First World War

O ROSY red, O torrent splendour
Staining all the Orient gloom,
O celestial work of wonder --
A million mornings in one bloom!

What, does the artist of creation
Try some new plethora of flame,
For his eye's fresh fascination?
Has the old cosmic fire grown tame?

In what subnatural strange awaking
Is this body, which seems mine?
These feet towards that blood-burst making,
These ears which thunder, these hands which twine

On grotesque iron? Icy-clear
The air of a mortal day shocks sense,
My shaking men pant after me here.
The acid vapours hovering dense,

The fury whizzing in dozens down,
The clattering rafters, clods calcined,
The blood in the flints and the trackway brown --
I see I am clothed and in my right mind;

The dawn but hangs behind the goal.
What is that artist's joy to me?
Here limps poor Jock with a gash in the poll,
His red blood now is the red I see,

The swooning white of him, and that red!
These bombs in boxes, the craunch of shells,
The second-hand flitting round; ahead!
It's plain we were born for this, naught else.

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