Summary of “Here Dead We Lie” by Alfred Edward Housman
War did not bring anything to the ones who were killed. The victorious men may have celebrated the end of this war. Patriotism does not mean that one gets bullied in the name of caste and creed. Young men were deceived to death while fighting. They could have seen a better life without the war and the fight. Life was not insignificant to them.
But still they chose to die just because they thought it was worthy to die for their nation. War has nothing to win, but only to lose. Young men should not just die brutal deaths in war because it brings honour to the nation. They should also get to see the life that awaits them.
Thus the poet has tried to put forth the irony of heroic struggle in the war where young men sacrifice their lives for the nation. The thought of sacrifice makes the life meaningless which is all worthy of being lived and enjoyed. Young soldiers and men likewise can do better in the service of the nation if they get a chance to live. They should not feel the shame of cowardice in giving importance to their lives. They should rather be proud to live for the nation than die for it. Thus a life sacrificed in a war is not a symbol of bravery but of foolishness. Life is beautiful but war only expounds the ugly side of it.