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Favourite Poems?

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JackDanielsU | 01:55 Wed 30th Nov 2005 | Arts & Literature
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They were part of my English A-level coursework, but to me war poetry is amazing. People like Wilfred Owen, and Rupert Brooke stand out. I had to recite Brookes poem "The Soldier" at a service. Still a good few years later, I can remember it word for word


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.


In memory of all our troops

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To me a really evocative poem is The Way Through The Woods by Kipling but I also love The Charge of The Light Brigade by Tennyson, it's got such rhythm, then there's a silly one from by childhood - The Common Cormorant by Christopher Isherwood:

The common cormorant or shag
Lays eggs inside a paper bag
The reason you will see no doubt
It is to keep the lightning out
But what these unobservant birds
Have never noticed is that herds
Of wandering bears may come with buns
And steal the bags to hold the crumbs.
Shortly after RB died, one of his brothers, who was on active service, wrote to his mother & told her not to believe RB's 'view'. It was, as with all war, hell.

I ama prolific reader but not an especially poetic soul.


One poem stands out in my mind with respect to war, particularly the horrors of it, the waste of youth, and the cynicism toward the establishment.


That poem was Wilfred Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est, which I first read in school. I haven't read better since.

LazyGun - that's exactly the one I was going to mention! We did it at school as well and it always stayed will me

Dulce et Decorum Est is lovely, but my favourite passage from a poem is from The Old Astronomer by Sarah Williams. It's something I'd like to have engraved on my headstone or something, i think it's beautiful.


Thought my soul may set in darkness


It will rise with perfect light,


I have loved the stars too fondly


To be fearful of the night.


Either 'Remember' by Christina Rossetti or 'Mid-Term Break' by Seamus Heaney. Both beautiful, I know both word for word x
Cargoes by John Masefield
If you want to read good war poetry read Siegfried Sassoon. Rupert Brookes is good, but glorifies it too much IMO.
If we're talking war poetry, one of my favourites is "Forget Me Not" by Keith Douglas. WW2 poetry tends to be overshadowed by that from WW1. Don't get me wrong - I have enormous respect and affection for WW1 poetry (a visit to the Somme cemeteries was one of the most emotional moments of my life), but there is other war poetry that deserves attention.

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