Edmund Blunden

(1 November 1896 – 20 January 1974 / London / England)

Edmund Blunden
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Edmund Charles Blunden was an English poet, author and critic. Like his friend Siegfried Sassoon, he wrote of his experiences in World War I in both verse and prose. For most of his career, Blunden was also a reviewer for English publications and an academic in Tokyo and later Hong Kong. He ended his career as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford.

Early Years and WWI

Edmund Charles Blunden was born in London in 1896, moving with his family to Kent shortly afterwards. He was educated at Christ's Hospital and Queen's College, Oxford. Blunden was commissioned into the Royal Sussex Regiment in 1915 and served in France and Belgium from 1916 to 1919, ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''On the green they watched their sons
    Playing till too dark to see,
    As their fathers watched them once,
    As my father once watched me;''
    Edmund Blunden (1896-1974), British poet, critic. Forefathers (l. 19-22). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Cou...
  • ''Like the bee that now is blown,
    Honey-heavy on my hand,
    From his toppling tansy-throne
    In the green tempestuous land—''
    Edmund Blunden (1896-1974), British poet, critic. Forefathers (l. 31-34). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Cou...
  • ''I'm in clover now, nor know
    Who made honey long ago.''
    Edmund Blunden (1896-1974), British poet, critic. Forefathers (l. 35-36). . . Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1918. Sir Arthur Quiller-Cou...
  • ''I have seen a green country, useful to the race,
    Knocked silly with guns and mines, its villages vanished,''
    Edmund Blunden (1896-1974), British poet, critic. Report on Experience (l. 5-6). . . New Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1950. Helen Gardn...
  • ''But not the tallest there, 'tis said,
    Could fathom to this pond's black bed.''
    Edmund Blunden (1896-1974), British poet, critic. The Midnight Skaters (l. 5-6). . . New Oxford Book of English Verse, The, 1250-1950. Helen Gardn...
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  • Deanna Johnston Clark (8/4/2014 6:35:00 PM)

    About the biography here: I'm pretty sure Edmund's relationship with Aki Hayashi continued in England but soon ended, though he paid the bills and was kind to her. In this bio he continued to be with her even after his happy marriage to Claire. However, by then Aki was long back in Japan, so this needs mentioning.

  • Deanna Johnston Clark (8/2/2014 5:19:00 PM)

    Edmund is my favorite poet because he believes God created a perfect world, and that evil will not have the final say. Yet he carried the burden of this cross all his life in his grief, his asthma from the gas, and his emotional ups and downs. He was not a man with all the answers, but a man who took hold of God with faith and was certain that even through the struggles there would be a restoration of the paradise he, himself, experienced with the rustic, humble countryside.
    I love the poem describing the Sussex downs hovering over his childhood...and how climbing them never entered their heads. They were simply there to witness the life below as companions...not for conquest. Edmund Blunden has a special vision and gift for writing...a true message...not cynicism, not politics, not despair...but patient in love and caring for his big family well into age...very sweet. Blessings, friend!

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