The Great War inspired famous war poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sasson, and Robert Graves. But many soldiers of the day expressed their war experiences through poetry. In fact, World War I was the era of the “solider-poet.” Everyday soldiers and sailors put their feelings and reflections into prose and their heartfelt expressions are just as moving as the well-known, well-published poems of the day.
Here’s one such poem, “Dream of Home” by Eau Claire native Maurice Hagman.
Dream of Home by Maurice A. Hagman
Upon a farm, in dear old Badger State,
A time was that I lived; was it a trance?
Alone we lie tonight, in high estate,
For now we live, — in France.
The war came, with what eager breath,
And ardently, I marched away!
But that was ere we met, grim Death
Amid the trenches fray!
I gave my life for Freedom, this I know,
For he who bade me fight had told me so.
With other youths, of high degree and low
I went, and we enjoyed the show!
And often as we lie, each in his niche,
I think of you, dear Friend!
And dream of that beloved home, – to which
We journey in the end.
This story was produced in partnership with the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Discover more about Wisconsin in the First World War at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum’s Temporary Exhibit – WWI BEYOND THE TRENCHES: STORIES FROM THE FRONT.”