March 18, 1893: Wilfred Owen is born.

Wilfred Owen was a British poet who wrote primarily during (and on) World War I. In 1915, he enlisted in the British Army and left for the Western Front in early 1917, only to come face-to-face with the horrors of war and senseless slaughter that would become subjects for his most famous poems, including Dulce et Decorum est, “Anthem for Doomed Youth" and Parable of the Old Man and the Young; these were poems that condemned the war and condemned the romanticized notions of war that misled so many of his generation to their deaths. A few months into his service, Owen was diagnosed with shell-shock after a shell exploded near him, and he was sent to a war hospital in Edinburgh, where he met another English war poet - Siegfried Sassoon. The two struck up a friendship that was ultimately very creatively beneficial for Owen; Sassoon both inspired Owen as a poet and helped publicize his works, which were unknown at the time of his early death. 

Owen’s short but important output of war poetry was primarily written within a span of a year and a few months; in August of 1918, he returned to the Western Front. He was killed in action in France on November 4, 1918, one week before the signing of the Armistice that ended military hostilities all across Europe.

If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud  
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, 
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest  
To children ardent for some desperate glory, 
The old Lie: Dulce et Decorum est 
Pro patria mori.

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