Words of Remembrance

Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon

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.

Everyone Sang by Siegfried Sassoon, April 1919

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

Single White Poppy by David.nikonvscanon on Flickr

  • First world war: Inside an enemy trench, from Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of an Infantry Officer
  • First world war: Robert Graves describes the effects of shellshock
  • First world war: Siegfried Sassoon’s poem, Suicide in the Trenches

Joanna Paterson is a writer, photograph and journal coach who provides resources to help people tap into the rich seam of their natural creativity and express themselves with confidence. You can find more of her work at Nature’s Fire.

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7 Responses to “Words of Remembrance”

  1. On November 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm Brad Shorr responded with... #

    Beautiful poem. I’ve heard great things about Sassoon, but never read him. Thanks for sharing his words, Joanna.

    Brad Shorrs last blog post..Which Are Better, Short or Long Blog Posts?

  2. On November 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm Karen Swim responded with... #

    Joanna, this is beautiful! My heart sang as I read the words. I had never read this poem (to my remembrance) but it is perfect for Remembrance Day / Armistice Day/ Veteran’s Day. Thank you for sharing it!

    Karen Swims last blog post..The Thief Who Stole November

  3. On November 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Brad, welcome back. I’m glad you liked the poem. The poetry of the first world war has always seemed to be the most beautiful, and terrible. I think you’d enjoy reading more of his work - a prose and a poem piece are linked at the bottom.

    Karen, we got taught a lot of this poetry at school and it sticks with you - I think it’s where a lot of our sense of the horror of war comes from. I love the way this poem is a celebration, a reminder of the awfulness of his experience, and an affirmation that the voices of the dead will never be lost.


  4. On November 12, 2008 at 1:41 am Robyn McMaster responded with... #

    Joanna, a very beautiful remembrance. My father was killed in action in WWII so the poem holds extra special meaning to me today.

    Robyn McMasters last blog post..What I Learned from a Government Deportation Notice

  5. On November 12, 2008 at 9:02 am Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    Robyn, I’m sure yesterday must have been full of emotion for you. I think the poem is very special, and I’m glad it resonated with you.

  6. On November 15, 2008 at 11:38 am wilson responded with... #

    What a lovely and hearthrob poeam, Joanna and it makes me want to sing now…lol

    wilsons last blog post..She Has Finally Made It!

  7. On November 15, 2008 at 12:42 pm Joanna
    Twitter: joannapaterson
    responded with... #

    I’m glad you like it wilson. I think we’re all singing in our own way.


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