Alun Lewis: Collected Poems

Lifted by education out of a working class mining community in Wales, Alun Lewis became one of the very few great poets to record their experience of the Second World War in verse. Lewis suffered from depression throughout his life, and died, perhaps accidentally or perhaps by his own hand, in Burma in 1944.

The real always fades into the meaning,
From cone to thread some grave perception drives
The twisted failures into vast fulfilments.
After the holocaust of shells and knives,
The victory, the treaty, the betrayal,
The supersession of a million lives,
The hawk sees something stir among the trenches,
The field mouse hears the sigh of what survives.