of vile incurable sores on innocent tongues.
I learnt the Owen poem by heart at school, and it's stayed with me, but I'd forgotten that line. Now, reading it, reading Owen on mustard gas sores, knowing about chemotherapy, as I also do these days, and how it was developed after the First World War when they realised that soldiers who'd been exposed to mustard gas had decreased white blood cells, and so they figured they could use the same stuff to destroy cancer cells. If you happen to be on chemotherapy now, then you'll know about the blisters it causes in your mouth. Rereading the poem now it's also odd to see that the phrase before the one about incurable sores on innocent tongues, reads "obscene as cancer"...because of course when Owen wrote it he couldn't know the connection.