Friday, November 11, 2016

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 forever 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 the sons 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.


Neilyn said...

A fine poem in many respects, but are you not more than a little troubled that the very public use of this piece by Prince 'Harry Wales' to commemorate the end of the Great War simply reinforces the imperialistic idea that England is a synonym for Britain? Did members of my Welsh family die in the trenches for England? So much for the so-called 'family of nations' that is allegedley the United Kingdom.

Glyn Davies said...

Neilyn - No I am not troubled by the use of the word England. If the poem was written today, I would be. I would not read it as anything to do with me. But it was written 100 yrs ago. I see England as being a synonym for 'Home'. Home to me is Wales, but I think this poem was about me as much as about any English soldier. Rupert Brooke was a poet, not a politician. I suspect Prince Harry sees it the same way I do. He was certainly not making a political statement. For those, who feel as you do, and If you see The Soldier as a slight on Wales, I respect your concern but think it misplaced. Glyn