WWI Trench
Remembrance

War Poem Of The Week: Rupert Brooke's 'The Soldier'

In the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday, we’re taking a look at a different war poem ever Friday as a way to remember those who...

WWI Trench

In the weeks leading up to Remembrance Sunday, we’re taking a look at a different war poem every Friday as a way to remember those who sacrificed their lives for us.

"The Soldier"- Rupert Brooke, 1914

 

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there's some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;

A body of England's, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

 

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke is one of our most celebrated war poets.

This famous sonnet was written in 1914, only shortly after the outbreak of war, and retains the hopeful patriotism that charicterised World War One's early poetry.

Here, we are given an image of the noble, self-sacrificing soldier who gives his life to fight for England.

Brooke's poetry differs markedly from that which emerged in the later years of the war, which tended to focus on representing the truly horrific realities of warfare.

Instead, Brooke might be regarded, rather than a war poet, as a poet of peace - the name given to one of his most famous sonnets.

Brooke himself served as an officer in the Royal Navy, but sadly died of blood poisoning caused by an insect bite whilst he made his way to Gallipoli.

He is often regarded as a symbol as what was lost in the "Great War", and is now remembered as one of the greatest poets of the conflict.

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