Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cambridge's Own

If I should die, think only this of me;
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England.

The Soldier

Rupert Brooke, the famous First World War poet, was educated at King's College, Cambridge before dying young in 1915. Local publisher Oleander has brought out a new edition of his collected poems, featuring a contemporary introduction from Lorna Beckett, the Chair of the Rupert Brooke Society. Here's the blurb:

Today Rupert Brooke is probably best known as one of the famous First World War poets. His War Sonnets, including ‘The Soldier’, are present in this new edition of his Collected Poems which, with a new introduction by the Rupert Brooke Society’s Chair, Lorna Beckett, aims to introduce a new generation of readers to his passionate and accomplished poetry.

Brooke has continued to fascinate people of all ages and walks of life ever since his untimely death en route to Gallipoli on St George’s Day 1915, at the age of 27. He lived his short life with intensity – he was not only a poet, but also a scholar, dramatist, literary critic, travel writer, political activist and soldier. Brooke had a large circle of friends, many of them leading figures of their generation including Virginia Woolf, Winston Churchill and W. B. Yeats.

Oh, is the water sweet and cool,
Gentle and brown, above the pool?
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there Beauty yet to find?
And Certainty? and Quiet kind?
Deep meadows yet, for to forget
The lies, and truths, and pain?… oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

The Old Vicarage, Grantchester