Geoffrey Dearmer


Geoffrey Dearmer

Geoffrey Dearmer (March 21, 1893 - 18 August, 1996) was a British poet. He was the son of Anglican liturgist and hymnologist Percy Dearmer.

During World War I, Dearmer fought at Gallipoli and on the Western Front. Most of his poems dealt with the over all brutality of war and violence, to which he was a direct eyewitness.

He died at the age of 103. The "Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for poetry" was founded in his memory in 1997.

One of his most famous poems is:

: The Turkish Trench Dog

: Night held me as I crawled and scrambled near: The Turkish lines. Above, the mocking stars: Silvered the curving parapet, and clear: Cloud-latticed beams o'erflecked the land with bars;: I, crouching, lay between: Tense-listening armies peering through the night,: Twin giants bound by tentacles unseen: Here in dim-shadowed light: I saw him, as a sudden movement turned: His eyes towards me, glowing eyes that burned: A moment ere his snuffling muzzle found: My trail; and then as serpents mesmerise: He chained me with those unrelenting eyes,: That muscle-sliding rhythm, knit and bound: In spare-limbed symmetry, those perfect jaws: And soft-approaching pitter-patter paws. : Nearer and nearer like a wolf he crept --: That moment had my swift revolver leapt --: But terror seized me, terror born of shame: Brought flooding revelation. For he came: As one who offers comradeship deserved,: An open ally of the human race,: And sniffling at my prostrate form unnerved: He licked my face!


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