segunda-feira, 28 de janeiro de 2013

“Dulce et Decorum Est.”

"When I was first thinking of a possible title for this book, I considered annexing the line “Obscene as cancer,” from Wilfred Owen’s terrifying poem about death on the Western Front, “Dulce et Decorum Est.” The action describes the reaction of a group of exhausted British stragglers, caught in the open during a gas attack for which they are ill–prepared:

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; 
But someone still was yelling out and 
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime 
. . .
 Dim, through the misty panes and thick
 green light, 
As under a green sea, I saw him

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, 
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, 
If in some smothering dreams you too 
could pace 
Behind the wagon that we flung him in, 
And watch the white eyes writhing in his 
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of 
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood 
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted 
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud 
Of vile incurable sores on innocent 
My friend, you would not tell with such 
high zest 
To children ardent for some desperate 
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est 
Pro patria mori."
 (Christopher Hitchens, Mortality, Loc. 757-69)