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"Conscious" is a third person description of a wounded World War I soldier convalescing in a hospital, probably somewhere in England or France. The title is a reference to the fact that the man is waking up, his eyes opening by the "pull of will" alone. This suggests that he has been severely wounded, as does the description of his "fluttering" fingers. He notes the "smooth floor" and the quiet of the hospital, contrasting it with the battlefield horrors he has seen. Whatever his physical condition, he is obviously traumatized by what he has experienced. As he waits for the nurse to come and help him, his mind drifts back to the "crimson slaughter" of the front, and a trench narrows before him in his mind. The poem ends disturbingly:
Cold, he's cold; yet hot:And there's no light to see the voices by... There is no time to ask...he knows not what.
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