by Wilfred Owen
The second speaker of "Strange Meeting" has a serious case of FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. To be fair, no one likes missing out. It's the worst when you get sick and you miss that awesome party. Or you're away when your class finally goes on a worthwhile field trip and someone does something hilariously awesome to embarrass themselves.
Yep, missing out is the worst. But it's especially bad when you miss out on, oh, years of your life. And that's just what Owen's talking about here. These soldiers died so young. They were robbed of so much of their lives. And now they're stuck in hell thinking about all the cool and worthwhile things they'll never get to do.
- Lines 15-16: The beginning of line 15 has got some serious zing to it. He's all like, "sure there's no reason to mourn… except that my entire life was cut short and there are all these years I will never get a chance to live, so now I'm completely hopeless!" But that's NBD, right? Wrong. Speaker number two is racked with a sense of loss for the life that was robbed from him.
- Lines 17-18: Mid-rant, speaker number two is trying to explain how he was filled with passionate pursuit. He went after life with gusto—he didn't lie around like a sack of potatoes wasting life, he went looking for the most beautiful parts of life. And he feels he would still be doing that if he hadn't been killed.
- Lines 22-24: Not only has he missed out by not being able to live longer, but the people he left behind missed out, too. Think of all the knock-knock jokes he could have told—he might have left us all in stitches.
- Lines 30-31: He was young, brave, and wise. He had it all. Then it was taken from him. This soldier doesn't miss an opportunity to tell us how many opportunities he's missed out on. We'd call him whiney, except he's totally earned the right.
- Line 37: Woulda, coulda, shoulda. If he had lived longer, he would have given his all and lived life to the fullest. Let this be a lesson to all of us who are still alive. Preach, Owen.