Dolce et Gabbana

November 11, 2011 § Leave a comment


If you are lucky enough to be on Hello Cruel World‘s Alan Tait’s Skype contact list, you will see his tagline “dolce et gabbana est pro patria mori”. Funny, eh?

Today is Armistice Day. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the guns fell silent, as did many of us in the UK today at this time, marking the end of the war on the Western Front in Europe. We also wear paper poppies, pretty little red flowers which were able to take root in the churned up fields.

The image at the start has words from the last four lines of the poem by the war poet Wilfred Owen. In true Wordle style, can you piece words together, collocations, phrases, the whole sentence even?

Make your own image too!

The poem is entitled “Dulce et decorum est”, a line from Horace, a Latin staple of public school boys’ education, especially when there are wars to fight: “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.”

“Dulce” – la dolce vita – “sweet”.
Decorum – also an English word, meaning right and proper behaviour – “fitting”.
“Pro” – pros and cons – “for”.
“Patria” – patriarch, so father, “fatherland”.
“Mori” – moribund, mortal, mortuary – “to die”.

“It is sweet and right to die for one’s country.” Alan, the buffoon, mixes it up with the fashion label Dolce e Gabbana!

Play with words here!

You can read the full poem here, but here are the last few lines, about a soldier dying from poison gas.

“If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.”
Wilfred Owen

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