Rupert Brooke. Pre-WW1 Poet Wealthy family, studied at Cambridge, very good looking in an English way Went on long gap year Part of the Georgian Poet group which was neo-Romantic in tone (included other poets such as Robert Graves and DH Lawrence)
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Rupert Brooke Pre-WW1 Poet Wealthy family, studied at Cambridge, very good looking in an English way Went on long gap year Part of the Georgian Poet group which was neo-Romantic in tone (included other poets such as Robert Graves and DH Lawrence) Country weekends spent skinny dipping in local streams Returned to UK just prior to the outbreak of WW1 Joined up, but died on the way to Gallipoli from an infected insect bite; never saw the action Image source: http://aotearoasunrise.blogspot.co.nz/2012/09/tuesday-poem-1914-iv-dead-by-rupert.html
The Romance of War • Before WW1, war viewed Romantically • Romantic in the tradition of Wordsworth and Coleridge (Early 19th Century) • A period of innocence, naivety • Reflected in Rupert Brooke’s series of five sonnets – Nineteen Fourteen
The Romance of War • Excitement about a cause to fight for: Now, God be thanked Who has watched us with His hour, And caught our youth, and wakened us from sleeping, I. Peace Dear! of all happy in the hour, most blest II. Safety Honour has come back, as a king, to earth, And paid his subjects with a royal wage; And Nobleness walks in our ways again; And we have come into our heritage. III. The Dead
The Romance of dying in battle • Death was seen as an honour; as glorious; a way to immortality Blow out, you bugles, over the rich Dead! There's none of these so lonely and poor of old, But, dying, has made us rarer gifts than gold. III. The Dead Their sons, they gave, their immortality III. The Dead He leaves a white Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance, A width, a shining peace, under the night. IV. The Dead A pulse in the eternal mind, no less V. The Soldier
Neo-Romanticism Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, V. The Soldier are waters blown by changing winds to laughter And lit by the rich skies, all day IV. Death
Patriotism 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; V. The Soldier
Critical Appraisal • Panned by the critics for its sentimentality: • John Lehmann referred to it as “sentimental and unrealistic”. • Robert Brainard Pearsall suggested that it had “Slightness in mass and idea” but also states that his work was “lyrical, charming and companionable”. But these critics had the benefit of a hindsight not afforded the young Brooke.
Critical Appraisal • Doris Eder (among other critics) suggests that Brooke’s work reflects the mood before 1914 – “Brooke’s war sonnet perfectly captured the mood of the moment” • George Parfitt suggests, V. The Soldier became "an important document of national preparation for war." – taking advantage of the same naivety that other young men who joined up possessed.
References First World War Poetry Digital Archive. (2013). Rupert Brooke. Retrieved April, 2013, from http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/education/tutorials/intro/brooke \ Flanders Fields Music. (2009). Biography of John McCrae Flanders Fields Author. Retrieved, April, 2013, from http://www.flandersfieldsmusic.com/johnmccrae-bio.html Harry Rusche. (2013). Rupert Brooke. Retrieved April, 2013, from http://www.english.emory.edu/LostPoets/Brooke.html Peddie, John. (2013). Prose & Poetry – the Story of John McCrae. Retrieved April, 2013, from http://www.firstworldwar.com/poetsandprose/mccrae_story.htm Poetry Foundation. (2013). Rupert Brooke Biography. Retrieved April, 2013, from http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/rupert-brooke