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(1887-1915 / Warwickshire / England)

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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
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Comments about this poem (Busy Heart, The by Rupert Brooke )

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  • 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 me the first 8 lines is all that i needed to read....

    16 person liked.
    26 person did not like.
  • Marcella D (9/20/2011 4:26:00 PM)

    This poem is such a beautiful and sad poem, so touching

  • Daniel Martin (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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Michael Pruchnicki (9/20/2010 8:42:00 AM)

    A soldier's prescient will and heartfelt testament of his love for his homeland, written before his death in 1915 from septicemia on his way to the frontline. No citations for gallantry in action in his service folder, unlike his contemporaries who were poets and soldiers: Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sasson. Perhaps that accounts for the note of idealism in the sonnet. Brooke seems unfazed by the grim and bloody war and the horrors of the battlefields and the interminable trench war that wreaked havoc on the young men who went over the top to their deaths for King and country - 60,000 KIA at the Somme!

  • Ramesh T A (9/20/2010 8:11:00 AM)

    'Somewhere back the thoughts by England given' could have perhaps given a sense of peace to one who had died and one about to die sooner!

  • Terence George Craddock (9/20/2010 4:33:00 AM)

    Rupert Brooke as the narrator is stating in the octave, that (if) he should die in a foreign land, then that corner of a foreign field where he would be buried, would forever after be a part of England. His body decaying into dust, which ‘England bore, shaped made aware, ’ would be the ‘richer dust concealed; ’ in that grave where he was buried.
    England had given him during his life, ‘her flowers to love, her ways to roam’ and having breathed ‘English air, ’ he remains even in dead, ever a body and part of England. He had been washed by English ‘rivers, blest by suns of home’.
    In the sestet the narrator concludes that from the somewhere, where he is buried, he gives back the thoughts England has given him. England’s “sights and sounds; dreams... laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.” A beautiful sonnet proclaiming pride in his English heritage.

  • Joey Valenzuela (9/20/2010 2:17:00 AM)

    i think the narrator is speaking about his death....
    a soldier has his life he might be thinking he could die anytime....

    If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field>>>>>>>>>>>>>>this is obviously not England (not nationalistic) just
    That is for ever England. There shall be>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>England-like place in somewhere else

    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; ...........................can dust mean downfall? ? thus richer dust (richer
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, ...............downfall....decay)

    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam, >>>>>>gave, ONCE...she probably had fled...she just
    A body of England's, breathing English air, >>>>>>>>>>>>passed (or died) . she means his girl that he missed
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.>>>>>>>>>who's from some corner of a foreign land.... >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>or, maybe, is the one who's in the foreign land
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>washed by rivers, ect...(means forgotten)

    And think, this heart, all evil shed away, >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>HEART (more emotional......)
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>a pulse (memories bout her) in his mind....

    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given; .......the thoughts....memories flashback of England (her......................................................................................girl)

    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day; >>>>>>>her look and voice

    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness, ...................her laughter

    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.>>>>>>>>>>>in hearts at peace (death) ..under english heaven(her >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>memories)

    hope to make at least a sense.......

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