The Official Writing Challenge
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02/21/06
To die for one's country is brave indeed. To try to save the life of a friend is a show of God's love in action. Well written.
02/21/06
I think these men would be pleased with your interpretation of the account. You've honoured them with this story. One small correction: "between he and death" - should be "him and death". Other than that, great job!
02/21/06
An amazing story written with excellence.
02/24/06
I read this piece earlier this week, but made no comment. It is an excellent piece of writing, and I am sorry I was so slow at seeing the irony in it. The title connects to the last line and tells the whole tale. Nothing "sweet and fitting" about being gassed to death in war, or noble in being the instrument of someone else's death.
02/24/06
Good writing--you put us right there in the action.

Maybe it's just my computer, but you did something with the formatting that made this piece not fit on the screen; I had to scroll back and forth on every line. Maybe that's why you've not gotten so many comments?

Anyway, the irnoy was definitely there--your title is especially fitting. Nicely done.
02/24/06
Hmmm, Jan - I don't know about the formatting, I thought it was just my browser! I didn't do anything different this time round, except centering the title, and that might have expanded the margins.

Thanks to all who have commented so far!
The effect you've so skillfully woven by setting the idealistic poem in stark contrast to the heartrending, mud and bloodsoaked death of Wilfred's friend is jarring and unforgetable. This piece is beautifully dark, so masterfully written!
Cori,

You are correct, you did not make the irony quite as clear as you had hoped. If you had repeated the title in near the end somehow, it would have made it more obvious.

Otherwise, this is very well written. I cried the two heroes of the story.

Good job.
02/24/06
This was a nice story... nice as in well written. You captured the horror of war. I'm not sure of the irony you were seeking being strong enough. The story was so strong between the title and the ending that it was easily missed.
02/25/06
AAARGH - thanks Maxx, and the 'irony' is the actual line from the poem is:

The old lie: Dulce Et Decorum est...

So all I needed to do to tie in my irony was add those 3 words, and it would have made all the difference.
Perhaps because I studied some of the poetry written during WW1, I was struck by the irony as soon as I read the last lines. Agreed, it is overshadowed by the story, but it is there to be found nonetheless. I also found it ironic that he was worried about saving one man when all around him others were dying. This was a sad tale that was well-written. Well done.