"The Aftermath" is a poem written by Walter Blythe during the First World War, in 'the year of Courcelette'.


"The dead are happier than we who live,
For, dying, they have purged their memory thus
And won forgetfulness; but what to us
Can such oblivion give?
—Some lines from the second stanza[src]


Written 'somewhere in France', this poem was sent home to Anne from Courcelette with the rest of Walter's papers. Jem was the only person she read it to.

Comments and analysisEdit

Jem: "Walter never bayonetted anyone, mother. But he saw ... he saw ..."
Anne: "I am thankful now, Jem, that Walter did not come back. He could never have lived with his memories ... and if he had seen the futility of the sacrifice they made then mirrored in this ghastly holocaust ..."
Jem: "I know ... I know. Even I who am a tougher brand than Walter ... but let us talk of something else. Who was it said, ‘We forget because we must’? He was right."
―Anne and Jem after Anne reads the poem[src]

Behind the scenesEdit


Short story appearances

By Anne Shirley
"I Wish You" · "The Old Path Round the Shore" · "Guest Room in the Country" · "The New House"
"Robin Vespers" · "Night" · "Man and Woman" · "There is a House I Love" · "Sea Song" · "To a Desired Friend"
"Midsummer Day" · "Remembered" · "Farewell to an Old Room" · "The Haunted Room" · "Song of Winter"
"Success" · "The Gate of Dream" · "An Old Face" · "Come, Let Us Go" · "For Its Own Sake" · "The Change"
"The Wind" · "The Bride Dreams" · "The Parting Soul" · "Memories" · "Grief" · "The Room" · "The Aftermath"
By Walter Blythe
"The Piper" · "Interlude" · "A June Day" · "Wind of Autumn" · "The Wild Places"
"I Know" · "May Song" · "The Parting Soul" · "My House" · "Canadian Twilight"
"Oh, We Will Walk with Spring Today" · "I Want" · "The Pilgrim" · "Spring Song" · "The Aftermath"

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