Skip navigation to main content

On Active Service: Lament by WW Gibson

Written by The Reader, 7th November 2018

This week we're sharing a daily poetry reading from our On Active Service 1914-1918 collection as part of our Armistice commemorations. 

Mary White, a Shared Reading group member and Reader Leader took a moment out from the busy day-to-day in the Calderstones Courtyard where our headquarters is based, to read Lament by W.W. Gibson.

Mary also volunteers with The Reader's Knit and Natter group who this year, created a special tribute for the centenary of Armistice which is on display at Calderstones until Tuesday 13 November.

This poem and all the poems we'll be sharing this week is available in a free, downloadable extract from the On Active Service anthology. Find out more.

You can also read along with the poem below.


We who are left, how shall we look again 

Happily on the sun or feel the rain 

Without remembering how they who went 

Ungrudgingly and spent 

Their lives for us loved, too, the sun and rain? 


A bird among the rain-wet lilac sings –  

But we, how shall we turn to little things 

And listen to the birds and winds and streams 

Made holy by their dreams, 

Nor feel the heart-break in the heart of things?

W.W. Gibson

This week we're commemorating the centenary of the armistice with poetry readings from our anthology On Active Service 1914-1918. We've made a collection of poems from the anthology available as a free digital download so that you can read along at home. Find out more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact us

Get in touch and be part of the story
You can also speak to us on: 0151 729 2200
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.