Prose & Poetry - War Poetry of S J Robinson - Dr Rivers

W H Rivers Reproduced within this area of the site are present-day First World War poems written by S. J. Robinson.

Click here for an introduction to the poems.

Dr Rivers

Seated at his desk
On a bow-backed wooden chair
Glasses on his forehead
Sunset in the air
A patient sits before him
A trembling, stutt'ring lad
A product of the horrors
Of trench and warfare mad

The man, he listens silently
Absorbing ev'ry word
Remembering each grimace,
Each shocking case he's heard:
The terrors formed in battle,
Plaguing nightmares of the fight,
Hallucinations, shuddering...
His task? To put it right

This man, who sat so quietly
His patient understands
And riles against 'Authority'
That fits humans into strands
'Authority' was ashamed of them
But he listened and judged not:
Worked hard and ever trying
To halt 'Coward' label's rot

This man was William Rivers
With a patient in his care
And oft, when I am troubled
I've wished that I'd been there

A "British warm" was a heavy issue greatcoat for officers.

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