"Dulce et Decorum Est," by Wilfred Owen

In this poem, World War I veteran Wilfred Owen describes the horrors of war. The Latin Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori means "It is sweet and proper to die for one's country."
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definitions & notes only words
  1. sludge
    any thick, viscous matter
    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
  2. haunt
    follow stealthily or pursue like a ghost
    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
  3. flare
    a sudden burst of fire
    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
  4. trudge
    walk heavily and firmly, as when weary, or through mud
    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
  5. limp
    proceed slowly or with difficulty
    Many had lost their boots,
    But limped on, blood-shod.
  6. lame
    disabled in the feet or legs
    All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
  7. fatigue
    temporary loss of strength and energy from hard work
    All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
  8. ecstasy
    a state of being carried away by overwhelming emotion
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
  9. fumble
    handle clumsily
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
  10. clumsy
    difficult to handle or manage especially because of shape
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
  11. stumble
    walk unsteadily
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
  12. flounder
    walk with great difficulty
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
  13. lime
    a caustic substance produced by heating limestone
    Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
    Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
  14. dim
    lacking clarity or distinctness
    Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
  15. plunge
    dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity
    In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
  16. gutter
    burn unsteadily, feebly, or low; flicker
    In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
  17. smother
    deprive of oxygen and prevent from breathing
    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 face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin
  18. pace
    walk with slow or fast steps
    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 face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin
  19. writhe
    move in a twisting or contorted motion
    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 face,
    His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin
  20. jolt
    a sudden jarring impact
    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,—
  21. gargle
    utter with gargling or burbling sounds
    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,—
  22. obscene
    offensive to the mind
    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,—
  23. vile
    causing or able to cause nausea
    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,—
  24. incurable
    incapable of being remedied
    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,—
  25. zest
    vigorous and enthusiastic enjoyment
    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.
  26. ardent
    characterized by strong enthusiasm
    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.
  27. desperate
    fraught with extreme danger; nearly hopeless
    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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