Vimy: Art and Literature

The Battle of Vimy Ridge

 Poem by Henry Graham : ‘Vimy Ridge 1917 by Paul Nash’

(from The Eye of the Beholder, stimulated by paintings at The Atkinson Art Gallery)

So many died, so many
useless deaths, while he
kept his head and drew,
painted the waste
the desolation and the pain.

So many died, wasted
in the rain, while his spirit
flew above it all, joined
the sun and sunflower
into a prophetic vision,
a metamorphosis of the land,
the bursting magnolia
and the hand of man.
So many have to die
the imprisoned spirit,
the source, the motive power
of the earth the sky.
Genius loci at the final birth
and all conception the rose of death.


Vimy Ridge 1917 by Paul Nash

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