As we reach Remembrance Sunday and set aside time to remember those who have so bravely given their lives for peace and freedom, I thought it might be a good idea to feature a local 'War Poet' on this blog.
After much research, I finally chose Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915), who was born in Rugby, Warwickshire, and is probably best-known for his patriotic poem The Soldier, which begins:
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England.
For this Remembrance Sunday, however, I decided to feature a different poem by Rupert Brooke. This complex fourteen-liner on the theme of death, following the form of a sonnet broken into two stanzas, an octet and concluding sestet, is called 'Clouds'.
Down the blue night the unending columns press
In noiseless tumult, break and wave and flow,
Now tread the far South, or lift rounds of snow
Up to the white moon's hidden loveliness.
Some pause in their grave wandering comradeless,
And turn with profound gesture vague and slow,
As who would pray good for the world, but know
Their benediction empty as they bless.
They say that the Dead die not, but remain
Near to the rich heirs of their grief and mirth.
I think they ride the calm mid-heaven, as these,
In wise majestic melancholy train,
And watch the moon, and the still-raging seas,
And men, coming and going on the earth.
To find Rupert Brooke poems on the topic of war, you can visit www.theotherpages.org or read about Brooke and other literary figures of Warwickshire here.