Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

British War Poets seminar 1

Rupert Brooke (1887 - 1915) The Soldier 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. Wilfred Owen (1893 - 1918) Dulce et decorum est Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind. Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! An ecstasy of fumbling, Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time; But someone still was yelling out and stumbling, And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime . . . Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory,

The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est Pro patria mori. Edward Thomas (1878 - 1917) Rain Rain, midnight rain, nothing but the wild rain On this bleak hut, and solitude, and me Remembering again that I shall die And neither hear the rain nor give it thanks For washing me cleaner than I have been Since I was born into this solitude. Blessed are the dead that the rain rains upon: But here I pray that none whom once I loved Is dying tonight or lying still awake Solitary, listening to the rain, Either in pain or thus in sympathy Helpless among the living and the dead, Like a cold water among broken reeds, Myriads of broken reeds all still and stiff, Like me who have no love which this wild rain Has not dissolved except the love of death, If love it be for what is perfect and Cannot, the tempest tells me, disappoint. Isaac Rosenberg (1890 - 1918) Break of Day in the Trenches The darkness crumbles away It is the same old druid Time as ever, Only a live thing leaps my hand, A queer sardonic rat, As I pull the parapet's poppy To stick behind my ear. Droll rat, they would shoot you if they knew Your cosmopolitan sympathies, Now you have touched this English hand You will do the same to a German Soon, no doubt, if it be your pleasure To cross the sleeping green between. It seems you inwardly grin as you pass Strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes, Less chanced than you for life, Bonds to the whims of murder, Sprawled in the bowels of the earth, The torn fields of France. What do you see in our eyes At the shrieking iron and flame Hurled through still heavens?

What quaver -what heart aghast? Poppies whose roots are in men's veins Drop, and are ever dropping; But mine in my ear is safe, Just a little white with the dust Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967) Glory of Women You love us when we're heroes, home on leave, Or wounded in a mentionable place. You worship decorations; you believe That chivalry redeems the war's disgrace. You make us shells. You listen with delight, By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled. You crown our distant ardours while we fight, And mourn our laurelled memories when we're killed. You can't believe that British troops "retire" When hell's last horror breaks them, and they run, Trampling the terrible corpses - blind with blood. O German mother dreaming by the fire, While you are knitting socks to send your son His face is trodden deeper in the mud. Here are several topics to tackle: 1. Why is Rupert Brooke's poem "The Soldier" believed to serve as an example of Georgian poetry? Discuss the use of positive imagery in describing death during warfare. 2. Discuss the function of irony in Owens poem. Consider the differences between prowar sentimentalism and anti-war realism. 3. How does Romantic soliloquy disintegrate into modern inadequacy in Edward Thomass Rain? 4. What does the symbolic image of the rat and poppy stand for in Rosenbergs poem? 5. How is the theme of futility illustrated in these poems?