LESS IS MORE
I have to confess that in my advertising teaching days I was not exactly sure what people meant by this expression. But now I am blogging I have a much clearer idea!
Instead of boring you with umpteen words trying to fill up space, it is far better to give you one small sound bite. So today, I am offering you one small gem of a poem. Written by Siegfried Sassoon, who although famous for his WW1 poetry, actually lived until 1967. I wonder how many people think, as I used to do, that he died in the first world war?
Rather than attempt to summarise Sassoon’s life, I recommend you read the entry on him in Wikipedia. He is one of 16 poets of the 1914-1918 war commemorated in Poets Corner, Westminster Abbey. The inscription on the stone was written by his friend and fellow War poet Wilfred Owen. It reads: “My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.”
Sassoon who had been decorated for his bravery on the Western Front, later became a passionate pacifist. His life makes interesting reading, particularly his relationship with Wilfred Owen which was fictionalised in Pat Barker’s Booker prize-winning trilogy, Regeneration. His Times Obituary is notable by the absence of any mention of the homosexual relationships he is known to have had – but then these things were not talked about in 1967.
This poem is from a small volume of poetry, The Heart’s Journey:
‘When I’m alone’ –the words tripped off his tongue
As though to be alone were nothing strange.
‘When I was young,’ he said; ‘ when I was young . . .’
I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
I thought how strange we grow when we’re alone,
And how unlike the selves that meet, and talk,
And blow the candles out, and say good-night.
Alone . . . The word is life endured and known.
It is the stillness where our spirits walk
And all but inmost faith is overthrown
Siegfried Sassoon, William Heinemann Ltd, 1931
Obituary from The Times
Siegfried Sassoon Image copyright Faber & Faber
© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems