Extract from the diary of Edward Thomas:

23 February 1917

Chaffinch sang once. Another dull cold day. Inspected stables, checked inventory of new billet for men in Rue Jeanne d’Arc, went with Colonel round 244, 141 and 234 positions and O.P. in Achicourt. Afternoon maps. Partridges twanging in fields. Flooded fields by stream between the 2 sides of Achicourt. ruined churches, churchyard and railway. Sordid ruin of Estaminet with carpenter’s shop over it in Rue Jeanne d’Arc–wet, mortar, litter, almanacs, bottles, broken glass, damp beds, dirty paper, knife, crucifix, statuette, old chairs. Our cat moves with the Group wherever it goes, but inspects new house inside and out, windows, fireplace etc. Paid the Pool gunners (scrapings from several batteries doing odd jobs here). 2 owls in garden at 6. The shelling must have slaughtered many jackdaws but has made home for many more. Finished Frost’s ‘Mountain Interval’. Wrote to Frost. A quiet still evening. Rubin brought over letters from Helen and Oscar.

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Stop by tomorrow for a guest post from Caroline Stevermer, “Digging for the Metaphor.”