Red poppies in a field, a cloudy blue sky in the background

Dark Angels Note 114

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our weekly Dark Angels Note.



Last week, back in 1886, English war poet Siegfried Sassoon was born (8 September 1886 – 1 September 1967) in Matfield, Kent.

Growing up, he had the life of a typical country gentleman, and after leaving Cambridge without a degree, he spent his time playing cricket, fox hunting and of course writing poetry until he was enlisted to fight in 1915.

Decorated and wounded, “Mad Jack” returned home disillusioned in 1917 and penned a declaration against the war. Following public outrage, he narrowly escaped being court-martialed thanks to an intervention by fellow poet and friend, Robert Graves, and was sent to Craiglockhart hospital to recover from shell shock. It was during his time at the hospital that he met and influenced the work of Wilfred Owen.

His poems captured the horrors of war and were published in a series of volumes, Counter-Attack and Other Poems and The War Poems of Siegfried Sassoon.



Throughout the war, Sassoon kept a series of journals and notebooks.

Read his handwritten journals, rough drafts and sketches complete with spilled candle wax on the Cambridge University Library archive.



Write your own letter of protest about something you would like to speak out about.



This week’s Sharing is from Sophie Gordon.



I want my time with you


I nearly ran out of time to write this.


“I’ll have time on my week off”

Turned into

“I can find the time when I’m back”

Turned into

“Oh shit, look at the time”


And so, I stole some time

Today, at lunch time

To think – and write – about time.


My thoughts turned to Tracy Emin’s neon pink letters, just above the clock at St Pancras:

“I want my time with you”


Intended as a love letter to Europe, but also so evocative of romantic hellos and goodbyes on silver screen steam-filled train platforms.


I want my time with you


Could there be a more heartfelt sentiment?

The sharing of precious time

Long lazy days and stolen moments

In our gift, no one else’s


I want my time with you


In all its stretchy, wibbly wobbly wonder

From minutes that overstay their welcome

To hours that flash past in a flurry – never to be seen again


My time is our time

I want my time with you.



Keep sending us your poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family.




Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Join us for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome; in fact, invite a friend along. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance and we’ll be using the same link every week from now on.


26 Orphans: Creative Writing Workshop

As part of a project for writers’ group 26 with the Foundling Museum in London, devised by John and called 26 Orphans, John & Neil will be running a creative workshop based on Dark Angels thinking.

The workshop will be in the morning and in the afternoon there will be a tour of the museum with readings from some of the 26 writers involved. And it’s all part of the Bloomsbury Festival on Saturday 22 October.

You can find out more and book a ticket here through the Foundling Museum.


Writing With Constraints: London, 9 November

One way to make writing easier is to make it harder. That sounds illogical, but putting some obstacles in the way of your writing can be a great way to get the creative juices flowing.

Whether you are a first timer, an experienced writer or all-round creative person, this will be an enjoyable and rewarding workshop. Find out more about the Writing with constraints workshop on the website.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here..

From everyone at Dark Angels



Photo by Laura Goodsell on Unsplash