Men at War – a poem of Remembrance by Ysabel Evans

‘Dulce et Decorum’ by artist Dave Farnham who created this stunning piece of art using explosive fuse wire and toy soldiers

At 11am today I was driving home, ferrying the large stash of food and essentials I’d bought from the supermarket that counts as our weekly shop.  I was glad I’d made it to a quiet spot in time, away from the incessant beep of the supermarket tills.  For this Armistice Day was a special one, being 100 years since the start of the First World War, that most brutal of twentieth century wars.  This year was the year I really did not want to let the busyness of modern life mean I miss its signature 2 minute silence.

To my surprise, I found tears falling down my cheeks as the eerie silence of Radio 4 spoke noisily of the sheer carnage, chaos and downright wrongness of war; of the wasted lives, thrown at the altar of man’s pride, ego and quest for freedom.  Yes, they fought for the right reasons, sacrificially, and against a real aggressor threatening our way of life, but ultimately, war is a crime against humanity that should never have to be fought.  And certainly never in the way it was waged in the Trenches.

And then this evening I read a poem posted by friends of ours on Facebook by their daughter, who’d been asked to write a poem about the First World war as part of her school work.  She’s the same age as my daughter’s,  but at a different school.

I thought my daughter was good at poetry till I read Ysabel’s poem.

It blew me away.

I won’t try and describe it, except that it shows a skill and depth of insight way beyond her years….


Men at War  by Ysabel Evans, age 10

Stomp-stomp! Stomp-stomp!

The moonlit sky filled with smoke

Where bullet after bullet made men scream.

The heart of evil coldness from clouds above,

Circled the men at war.


The blood pounded on the ground like an angry dog,

As skeletons rattled and rolled.

Corpse after corpse laid on the floor

While flies hovered above.


That’s why we stand in the deadly silence

Thinking of all the soldiers.

If they hadn’t thought of all of us,

England would be deserted.


I couldn’t have written it better, Ysabel.  Thank you. And super well done.

PS I added this incredible photo-picture created by David Farnham at the top of the post not only because it depicted Ysabel’s poem quite well, but also because Ysabel’s dad, Mark Evans, is a cutting-edge artist in his own right, creating incredible pictures with leather.


Prose for Thought

9 thoughts on “Men at War – a poem of Remembrance by Ysabel Evans

  1. Such a lovely poem, thanks for including my artwork next to it! If you wish to pass my contact details to Ysabel’s dad i’ll send them a print of that artwork (contact page on my website). The image you have used is titled ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ inspired by the poet Wilfred Owen. Dave

  2. It’s been so moving all of this hasn’t it? I am so pleased that they’ve been studying it at school and understand the significance of 100 years and why we remember those who fought. Wonderful poem. So kind of you to share as well, I bet her parents her so proud.

    • For some reason mine haven’t seem to have done much special for it at their school. No idea why. Or maybe they’ve just kept it quiet (highly likely). I couldn’t resist publishing it, its such a remarkable piece of poetry.

  3. What a moving poem. Thank you. I feel all the memorial events, including the 2 minutes silence, should be focussed on 11th November. The cenotaph service on the previous Sunday dilutes the effect: as someone said ‘we’ve already had the 2 minutes silence’ It seems much more effective on a working day.

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