The Next War (poem)

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"The Next War" is a poem by Wilfred Owen. It was written in late September 1917, and revised in July 1918. It is no. 160 in The Complete Poems and Fragments. [1]

The poem is among those set in the War Requiem of Benjamin Britten.


The poem is in a sonnet form and follows a conventional sonnet structure. It starts out with a quote from Siegfried Sassoon.

War's a joke for me and you,
While we know such dreams are true.

The poem goes on to declare that death is not the enemy and that better men will replace them on the battlefield. It ends with:

Oh, Death was never enemy of ours!
We laughed at him, we leagued with him, old chum.
No soldier's paid to kick against his powers.
We laughed, knowing that better men would come,
And greater wars; when each proud fighter brags
He wars on Death - for lives; not men - for flags.


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