Wednesday, 14 November 2018

'Lest we forget' by Letitia Mason

Last week my community choir sang in an Armistice Pilgrimage. 

We went to seven local churches 
and a school during the week
offering a selection of poems,
anthems, and hymns to commemorate Armistice. 

Our director had arranged

a beautiful programme; and tears
were shed during the performances.

In addition to singing I was asked to read a poem by 
Wilfred Owen called the Send-off.

A family ancestor
who fought in World War 1

The thoughts expressed in the poem are uncomfortable, and this is reflected in the shifting metre of the lines. I found it difficult to read. Owen’s skill in capturing the glory, the sacrifice and the sadness of war in so few words continues to resonate down the years. A verbal snapshot of an everyday scene; a fly captured in amber, turning the mundane to a glowing gem.

Remembrance poppies will be cast in the bin, but the words and thoughts evoked by reading this poem aloud will last.

Letitia Mason fell in love with East and Central Africa while teaching at a harambee school in Kenya. She has published Lost Children of Cush, a novel of South Sudan. Tish works for Flame International and lives in Surrey with her husband and a crazy dog.   @TishMason1

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