Famous Quotes & Sayings

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes & Sayings

Enjoy the top 64 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Siegfried Sassoon.

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Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 2269112

Phantoms of thought and memory thinned and fled. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1876525

If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base,And speed glum heroes up the line of death. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 815065

Who's this - alone with stone and sky? It's only my old dog and I - It's only him; it's only me; Alone with stone and grass and tree. What share we most - we two together? Smells, and awareness of the weather. What is it makes us more than dust? My trust in him; in me his trust. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 491354

54. At Daybreak
I LISTEN for him through the rain,
And in the dusk of starless hours
I know that he will come again;
Loth was he ever to forsake me:
He comes with glimmering of flowers 5
And stir of music to awake me.
Spirit of purity, he stands
As once he lived in charm and grace:
I may not hold him with my hands,
Nor bid him stay to heal my sorrow; 10
Only his fair, unshadowed face
Abides with me until to-morrow. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1809973

I keep such music in my brain
No din this side of death can quell;
Glory exulting over pain,
And beauty, garlanded in hell. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 976026

Why do you lie with your legs ungainly huddled,
And one arm bent across your sullen cold
Exhausted face? It hurts my heart to watch you,
Deep-shadow'd from the candle's guttering gold;
And you wonder why I shake you by the shoulder;
Drowsy, you mumble and sigh and turn your head ...
You are too young to fall asleep for ever;
And when you sleep you remind me of the dead. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1839504

One evening I asked whether he [Rivers] thought I was suffering from shell-shock.
'Certainly not,' he replied.
'What have I got then?'
'Well, you appear to be suffering from an anti-war complex. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 460876

In me the tiger sniffs the rose.
Look in my heart, kind friends, and tremble,
Since there your elements assemble. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 708168

I didn't want to die - not before I'd finished reading The Return of the Native anyhow. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1707659

They march from safety, and the bird-sung joy
Of grass-green thickets, to the land where all
Is ruin, and nothing blossoms but the sky — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 629080

Life for the majority of the population.
Is an unlovely struggle against unfair odds.
Culminating in a cheap funeral. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1527334

Soldiers are citizens of death's grey land, drawing no dividend from time's tomorrows. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1239520

For it is humanly certain that most of us remember very little of what we have read. To open almost any book a second time is to be reminded that we had forgotten well-nigh everything that the writer told us. Parting from the narrator and his narrative, we retain only a fading impression; and he, as it were, takes the book away from us and tucks it under his arm. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 2023489

It is also worth noting that it was only through my urgent instigation that he printed a short poem of his own. This was in accordance with his essential unassumingness. Though not clearly conscious of it at the time, I now realize that in a young man of twnty-four his selflessness was extraordinary. The clue to his poetic genius was sympathy, not only in his detached outlook upon humanity but in all his actions and responses towards individuals. I can remember nothing in my observations of his character which showed any sign of egotism or desire for self-advancement. When contrasting the two of us, I find that - highly strung and emotional though he was - his whole personality was far more compact and coherent than mine. He readily recognized and appreciated this contrast, and I remember with affection his amused acceptance of my exclamatory enthusiasms and intolerances. Most unfairly to himself, he even likened us to Don Quixote and Sancho Panza! — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1409976

I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the War is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1653168

Let my soul, a shining tree, Silver branches lift towards thee, Where on a hallowed winter's night The clear-eyed angels may alight. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 111346

The dead ... are more real than the living because they are complete. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 123281

Suicide in the trenches:
I knew a simple soldier boy
Who grinned at life in empty joy,
Slept soundly through the lonesome dark,
And whistled early with the lark.
In winter trenches, cowed and glum
With crumps and lice and lack of rum,
He put a bullet through his brain.
No one spoke of him again.
* * * * *
You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 131155

His wet white face and miserable eyesBrought nurses to him more than groans and sighs:But hoarse and low and rapid rose and fellHis troubled voice: he did the business well.(First verse of Died of Wounds) — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 146056

Soldiers are dreamers. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 185050

We were carrying something in our heads which belonged to us alone, and to those we had left behind us in the battle. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 201688

December stillness, teach me through your trees
That loom along the west, one with the land,
The veiled evangel of your mysteries.
While nightfall, sad and spacious, on the down
Deepens, and dusk embues me where I stand,
With grave diminishings of green and brown,
Speak, roofless Nature, your instinctive words;
And let me learn your secret from the sky,
Following a flock of steadfast-journeying birds
In lone remote migration beating by.
December stillness, crossed by twilight roads,
Teach me to travel far and bear my loads. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 252437

Mute in that golden silence hung with green,
Come down from heaven and bring me in your eyes
Remembrance of all beauty that has been,
And stillness from the pools of Paradise.
Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 292135

Shaken from sleep, and numbed and scarce awake,
Out in the trench with three hours' watch to take,
I blunder through the splashing mirk; and then
Hear the gruff muttering voices of the men
Crouching in cabins candle-chinked with light.
Hark! There's the big bombardment on our right
Rumbling and bumping; and the dark's a glare
Of flickering horror in the sectors where
We raid the Boche; men waiting, stiff and chilled,
Or crawling on their bellies through the wire.
"What? Stretcher-bearers wanted? Some one killed?"
Five minutes ago I heard a sniper fire:
Why did he do it? ... Starlight overhead
Blank stars. I'm wide-awake; and some chap's dead. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 371818

Does it matter?
losing your legs? ...
For people will always be kind,
And you need not show that you mind
When the others come in after football
To gobble their muffins and eggs.
Does it matter?
losing your sight? ...
There's such splendid work for the blind;
And people will always be kind,
As you sit on the terrace remembering
And turning your face to the light.
Do they matter?
those dreams from the pit? ...
You can drink and forget and be glad,
And people won't say that you're mad;
For they'll know that you've fought for your country,
And no one will worry a bit. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 432560

Alone he staggered on until he found
Dawn's ghost that filtered down a shafted stair
To the dazed, muttering creatures underground
Who hear the boom of shells in muffled sound. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 486317

But I've grown thoughtful now. And you have lost Your early-morning freshness of surprise At being so utterly mine: you've learned to fear The gloomy, stricken places in my soul, And the occasional ghosts that haunt my gaze. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 560673

Before the Battle:
Music of whispering trees
Hushed by the broad-winged breeze
Where shaken water gleams;
And evening radiance falling
With reedy bird-notes calling.
O bear me safe through dark, you low-voiced streams.
I have no need to pray
That fear may pass away;
I scorn the growl and rumble of the fight
That summons me from cool
Silence of marsh and pool,
And yellow lilies islanded in light.
O river of stars and shadows, lead me through the night. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 567456

Man, it seemed, had been created to jab the life out of Germans. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 635434

O German mother dreaming by the fire, While you are knitting socks to send your son His face is trodden deeper in the mud. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 667339

Books; what a jolly company they are,
Standing so quiet and patient on their shelves,
Dressed in dim brown, and black, and white, and green
And every kind of colour. Which will you read?
Come on; O do read something; they're so wise.
I tell you all the wisdom of the world
Is waiting for you on those shelves; and yet
You sit and gnaw your nails, and let your pipe out,
And listen to the silence. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 803923

When Dick was killed last week he looked like that, Flapping along the fire-step like a fish, After the blazing crump had knocked him flat ... . How many dead? As many as ever you wish. Don't count 'em; they're too many. Who'll buy my nice fresh corpses, two a penny? — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 820575

To him, as to me, the War was inevitable and justifiable. Courage remained a virtue. And that exploitation of courage, if I may be allowed to say a thing so obvious, was the essential tragedy of the War, which, as everyone now agrees, was a crime against humanity. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 846533

His face - what would it have become? While calling him back in memory I have been haunted by the idea of the unalterable features of those who have died in youth. Borne away from them by the years, we - with our time-troubled looks and diminished alertness - have submitted to many a gradual detriment of change. But the young poet of twenty-five years ago remains his world-discovering self. His futureless eyes encounter ours from the faintly smiling portrait, unconscious of the privilege and deprivation of never growing old, unconscious of the dramatic illusion of completeness that he is destined to create. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 870015

October's bellowing anger breakes and cleavesThe bronzed battalions of the stricken woodIn whose lament I hear a voice that grievesFor battle's fruitless harvest, and the feudOf outrage men. Their lives are like the leavesScattered in flocks of ruin, tossed and blownAlong the westering furnace flaring red.O martyred youth and manhood overthrown,The burden of your wrongs is on my head. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 870143

You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye
Who cheer when soldier lads march by,
Sneak home and pray you'll never know
The hell where youth and laughter go."
"The War Poems — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 880491

I did not dread the dark winter as people do when they have lost their youth and live alone in some great city. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 976620

Across the land a faint blue veil of mist
Seems hung; the woods wear yet arrayment sober
Till frost shall make them flame; silent and whist
The drooping cherry orchards of October
Like mournful pennons hang their shriveling leaves
Russet and orange: all things now decay;
Long since ye garnered in your autumn sheaves,
And sad the robins pipe at set of day. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1308034

If I ever thought of myself as a man of thirty-five it was a visualization of dreary decrepitude. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1313791

I am a soldier, convinced that I am acting on behalf of soldiers. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1315323

Soldiers are dreamers; when the guns begin they think of firelit homes, clean beds, and wives. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1379276

EVERYONE suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom,
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields;
on - on - and out of sight.
Everyone's voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun:
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away ... O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1456825

I am not protesting against the conduct of the war, but against the political errors and insincerities for which the fighting men are being sacrificed. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1457181

Rambling among woods and meadows, I could 'take sweet counsel' with the country-side; sitting on a grassy bank and lifting my face to the sun, I could feel an intensity of thankfulness such as I'd never known before the War; listening to the little brook that bubbled out of a copse and across a rushy field, I could discard my personal relationship with the military machine and its ant-like armies. On — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1468703

And it's been proved that soldiers don't go mad
Unless they lose control of ugly thoughts
That drive them out to jabber among the trees. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1484600

The fact is that five years ago I was, as near as possible, a different person to what I am tonight. I, as I am now, didn't exist at all. Will the same thing happen in the next five years? I hope so. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1497812

I am banished from the patient men who fight.
They smote my heart to pity, built my pride.
Shoulder to aching shoulder, side by side,
They trudged away from life's broad wealds of light.
Their wrongs were mine; and ever in my sight
They went arrayed in honour. But they died,
Not one by one: and mutinous I cried
To those who sent them out into the night.
The darkness tells how vainly I have striven
To free them from the pit where they must dwell
In outcast gloom convulsed and jagged and riven
By grappling guns. Love drove me to rebel.
Love drives me back to grope with them through hell;
And in their tortured eyes I stand forgiven. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1607426

As regards being dead, however, one of my main consolations has always been that I have the strongest intention of being an extremely active ghost. Let nobody make any mistake about that. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1622365

In the years 1910 and 1911 I had 51 innings with 10 not outs and an average of 19. This I consider a creditable record for a poet. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1635053

He belonged to the old school of country gentlemen, ruling his estate with semi-benevolent tyranny and turning his back on all symptoms of social innovation. Under his domination the Packlestone country had been looked after on feudal system lines. His method of dealing with epistolary complaints from discontented farmers was to ignore them; in verbal intercourse he bulled them and sent them about their business with a good round oath. Such people, he firmly believed, were put there by Providence to touch their hats and do as they were told by their betters ... And as such he continued beyond his eightieth year, until he fell into a fish-pond on his estate and was buried by the parson whose existence he had spurned by his arrogance. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1660041

And the wind upon its way whispered the boughs of May, And touched the nodding peony flowers to bid them waken. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1691475

And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I'd toddle safely home and die
in bed. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1715694

In me the tiger sniffs the rose. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1722279

I have seen and endured the sufferings of the troops, and I can no longer be a party to prolong these sufferings for ends which I believe to be evil and unjust. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1722545

The phrase "after-life" was also vaguely confused with going to church and not wanting to be dead - a perplexity which can be omitted from a narrative in which I am doing my best to confine myself to actual happenings. At the age of twenty-two I believed myself to be unextinguishable. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1805579

All this, I suspect, has been little more than the operation known as the pilgrimage from the cradle to the grave, but I have had a comfortable feeling that, however ordinary my enterprises may have been, they had at any rate the advantage of containing, for me, an element of sustained unfamiliarity. I am one of those persons who begin life by exclaiming they've "never seen anything like this before" and die in the hope that they may say the same of heaven. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1911343

Oh yes, I know the way to heaven was easy. We found the little kingdom of our passion that all can share who walk the road of lovers. In wild and secret happiness we stumbled; and gods and demons clamoured in our senses. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1931404

The visionless officialized fatuityThat once kept Europe safe for Perpetuity. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1932594

All the sanguine guesswork of youth is there, and the silliness; all the novelty of being alive and impressed by the urgency of tremendous trivialities. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1945182

I died in hell. They called it Passchendaele. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 1991218

Mud and rain and wretchedness and blood. Why should jolly soldier-boys complain? God made these before the roofless Flood - Mud and rain. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 2040487

And there'd be no more jokes in Music-halls
To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 2155752

Dark clouds are smouldering into red
While down the craters morning burns.
The dying soldier shifts his head
To watch the glory that returns:
He lifts his fingers toward the skies
Where holy brightness breaks in flame;
Radiance reflected in his eyes,
And on his lips a whispered name. — Siegfried Sassoon

Siegfried Sassoon Quotes 2222102

I believe that the purpose for which I and my fellow soldiers entered upon this war should have been so clearly stated as to have made it impossible to change them, and that, had this been done, the objects which actuated us would now be attainable by negotiation. — Siegfried Sassoon