Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Sassoon at His Bitterest: Does It Matter?

Sassoon as a New Officer, 1915

Does It Matter?

Siegfried Sassoon

Does it matter?—losing your legs?...

For people will always be kind,

And you need not show that you mind

When the others come in after hunting

To gobble their muffins and eggs.

Does it matter?—losing your sight?...

There’s such splendid work for the blind;

And people will always be kind,

As you sit on the terrace remembering

And turning your face to the light.

Do they matter?—those dreams from the pit?...

You can drink and forget and be glad,

And people won’t say that you’re mad;

For they’ll know you’ve fought for your country

And no one will worry a bit.

Siegfried Sassoon's Gravestone at
St Andrew's Church, Mells, Somerset

Commentary from Poem Analysis

"Does It Matter?" is one of Siegfried Sassoon’s best-known poems. It was written in 1917 after Sassoon had grown tired of war and lost the patriotism that had defined his verse in earlier years. The poem describes the variety of injuries that men receive in war, those of the body and those of the mind. 

The poem was published a year after it was penned, in 1918, in Sassoon’s collection Counter-Attack and Other Poems. "Does it Matter?" is one of the most important poems in the volume and sets the tone for the poems that followed it. 



  1. A simple but very penetrating poem

  2. First time i have every read that poem - pierced me in the heart especially now ...Margaret Australia