Rupert Brooke

(1887-1915 / Warwickshire / England)

1914 V: 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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (1914 V: The Soldier by Rupert Brooke )

  • Bronze Star - 2,463 Points John Richter (2/6/2015 12:05:00 PM)

    Rupert did die in that war.... Which certainly involved England. You must imagine a man sitting in a trench with his paper and pen, watching men die, screaming in most horrible ways. Then think if he wondered what it was that brought him to that place. Of course it was the love of his country, of everything he knew, the great love for family and friends, and their shared respect for peace. Then I think we could conclude if this is as good or lesser than any of his other poems. I think it is exactly marvelous and touching, as I feel exactly the same about my own country. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 38 Points Pakshal Patel (9/20/2014 2:24:00 PM)

    http: //www.poemhunter.com/poem/damsel-lovestory/ (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 39,733 Points Aftab Alam Khursheed (9/20/2014 2:12:00 AM)

    British sun never set , why this poem says a lot about it, it is a brave and dignified praise for the land where he born (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 13,881 Points * Sunprincess * (6/18/2014 12:10:00 PM)

    .............England is a great land....and one of my dreams is to visit there someday.....enjoyed this wonderful poem.... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 369 Points Stephen W (4/12/2014 7:22:00 PM)

    Not as good as the previous one, The Dead II. Though beautifully written, it is somewhat vain and affected. It wasn't an English war, anyway. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 158 Points Queeny Gona (9/21/2013 12:43:00 AM)

    In hearts at peace, under an English Heaven! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 423 Points Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (9/20/2013 10:14:00 AM)

    And this we now think of you
    Living ages away from your time
    That this poem has no substitute
    And in minds will forever chime

    Krishi Nair (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 677 Points Muzaffer Akin (9/20/2013 7:09:00 AM)

    Congratulations.I like it so much. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Wilson Hay Kinley (4/6/2013 2:26:00 PM)

    a big fat 10 for this!
    the line
    There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed
    gets me ever time: D [3 (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Sangnam Nam (11/8/2012 5:46:00 PM)

    Under English heaven wherever he was.....good job, Rupert! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Kevin Straw (9/20/2012 9:21:00 AM)

    The idea that a dead soldier: Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given... is a bit fanciful to say the least. From my experience of military life I should prefer if most of the soldiers I met kept their thoughts to themselves! A famous poem, but its sentimentality has not worn well seen through the carnage that followed. And Brooke's privileged life was by no means the life that most men and women had whom England bore. I do not think they would have written like this. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Stevie Taite (9/20/2012 9:20:00 AM)

    Let's remember the soldier before the atrosity of war took away his inocence and his life! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 7 Points Udiah Witness to YAH (9/20/2012 5:49:00 AM)

    This poem by Brooke unveils the mindset of the soldier sent to war in Europe. This was hoped to be the war to end all wars, but unfortunately we now know much better. He knew tyranny had to be defeated so all might enjoy the heaven he had experienced as a young child in England. We continue to fight today for many of the same reasons. Mankind perhaps will never overcome his fleshly urges of power, greed, lust, and other evils, so wars shall continue until all can learn to live peacefully and settle their differences in a rational manner. And until we learn to protect individual rights, by allowing the people to have democratic republics instead of mob democracies, atrocities en masse will continue. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 7 Points Udiah Witness to YAH (9/20/2012 5:47:00 AM)

    This poem by Brooke unveils the mindset of the soldier sent to war in Europe. This was hoped to be the war to end all wars, but unfortunately we now know much better. He knew tyranny had to be defeated so all might enjoy the heaven he had experienced as a young child in England. We continue to fight today for many of the same reasons. Mankind perhaps will never overcome his fleshly urges of power, greed, lust, and other types of evil, so wars shall continue until all can learn to live peacefully and settle their differences in a rational manner. And until we learn to protect individual rights, by allowing the people to have democratic republics instead of mob democracies, atrocities en masse will continue. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 182 Points Karen Sinclair (9/20/2012 4:00:00 AM)

    The first half of this poem is just impeccable but im afraid to me it wained a bit in the latter..but thats just personal taste i think...to me the first 8 lines is all that i needed to read.... (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Marcella D (9/20/2011 4:26:00 PM)

    This poem is such a beautiful and sad poem, so touching (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points Melancholy Man (9/20/2011 7:14:00 AM)

    This is such a beautifully sad poem. To me, there are key ponits in each section.

    The first is the use of the work 'Gave', which hints at some sort of sacrificial giving of the English boys sent to war (or duped into signing up) . How right he was.

    The second is the statement 'A pulse in the eternal mind, no less'. This is a clear awareness that the events unfolding before him would never be forgotten - again... how right he was. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Shadow Girl (5/13/2011 12:47:00 AM)

    We must read this in the context it is written - the only indication of war in this poem is - 'in a foreign field'. The writer was naive to the atrocities of war.... 'A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, '
    From a 21st century perspective we can read 'made aware' as being ironic as propaganda was used for obfuscation not revelation: it duped men into enlisting. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 18 Points Ian Fraser (10/19/2010 8:17:00 AM)

    This poem is the last of five sonnets on the subject of World War One, that are considered his chief legacy as a writer. Brooke has been strongly criticized for presenting an idealized view of war and death that was far from the brutal reality. It has to be remembered, however, that they were all written at the beginning of the war before the long years of suffering had begun to take their toll on people's sensibilities. Brooke's view of war as a patriotic duty and an uplifting even transcendent experience was by far the one most commonly held at the period and it is harsh to criticize him for it. Later writers such as Owen and Sassoon, for example, saw things a different way and theirs is the view which nowadays generally prevails. But just as we do not condemn Shakespeare for not describing the graphic details of death in war or Jane Austen for not writing about the conditions of beggars in her society, it is unfair to condemn Brooke. This is and will always remain one the great patriotic poems. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie David Aoloch Bion (9/20/2010 9:26:00 AM)

    , very sad, it si a prophesy of his death because brooke died in Greec during ww2 (Report) Reply

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