BIOGRAFPHY: Siegfried Sassoon was born in Weir Leigh, Kent, England on September 8, 1886 into a leisurely society of country living. His father, a Sephardic Jew, and mother, a Catholic, separated when he was five years old. When his father died of Tuberculosis a few short months after the separation, his mother was forced to raise Siegfried on her own. Siegfried was educated at Marlborough Grammar School and later attended Clare College at Cambridge. His main interests were hunting and poetry. He was an undergraduate at Clare from 1905 to 1907 and was later made an Honorary Fellow in 1953.Five years after leaving Clare College he wrote a parody to the poem "The Everlasting Mercy" by John Masefield. Mr. Masefield was so impressed by the work that he hailed Sassoon as "one of England's most brilliant rising stars...". Sassoon's parody titled "The Daffodil Murderer" was written in December of 1912. In December of 1933 Siegfried married Hester Gatty after a short engagement. Their only child, George, was born in 1936. Sometime after the end of the second world war Siegfried and Hester divorced. Despite his public attacks on the way the war was being managed, Sassoon, like Wilfred Owen and Robert Graves, agreed to continue to fight. Sassoon was sent to Palestine and France before further injuries forced him to return to England. Over the next thirty years Sassoon wrote three semi-autobiographical works, Memoirs of a FoxHunting Man (1928), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and Sherston's Progress (1936). This was followed by three volumes of autobiography, The Old Century (1938), The Weald of Youth (1942) and Siegfried's Journey (1945). Siegfried Sassoon died in 1967.
POEMS The Dragon and the Undying ALL night the flares go up; the Dragon sings And beats upon the dark with furious wings; And, stung to rage by his own darting fires, Reaches with grappling coils from town to town; He lusts to break the loveliness of spires, And hurls their martyred music toppling down. Yet, though the slain are homeless as the breeze, Vocal are they, like storm-bewilder'd seas. Their faces are the fair, unshrouded night, And planets are their eyes, their ageless dreams. Tenderly stooping earthward from their height, They wander in the dusk with chanting streams, And they are dawn-lit trees, with arms up-flung, To hail the burning heavens they left unsung.
The General "Good-morning; good-morning!" the General said When we met him last week on our way to the line. Now the soldiers he smiled at are most of ’me dead, And we’re cursing his staff for incompetent swine. "He’s a cheery old card," grunted Harry to Jack As they slogged up to Arras with rifle and pack. But he did for them both by his plan of attack.