Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy wrote Last Post to mark the deaths of Henry Allingham and Harry Patch, the two longest surviving soldiers from the 1914-18 First World War.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If poetry could tell it backwards, true, begin that moment shrapnel scythed you to the stinking mud ... but you get up, amazed, watch bled bad blood run upwards from the slime into its wounds; see lines and lines of British boys rewind back to their trenches, kiss the photographs from home - mothers, sweethearts, sisters, younger brothers not entering the story now to die and die and die. Dulce - No - Decorum - No - Pro patria mori. You walk away. You walk away; drop your gun (fixed bayonet) like all your mates do too - Harry, Tommy, Wilfred, Edward, Bert - and light a cigarette. There's coffee in the square, warm French bread and all those thousands dead are shaking dried mud from their hair and queuing up for home. Freshly alive, a lad plays Tipperary to the crowd, released from History; the glistening, healthy horses fit for heroes, kings. You lean against a wall, your several million lives still possible and crammed with love, work, children, talent, English beer, good food. You see the poet tuck away his pocket-book and smile. If poetry could truly tell it backwards, then it would.