Featured Poem: Song by Rupert Brooke

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This week’s poem is simply called Song and comes from poet Rupert Brooke, renowned for his war sonnets.

Born in 1887, Rupert Brooke had friends among the Bloomsbury group of writers who admired his talent as a poet and his good looks. Virginia Woolf reportedly once boasted to Vita Sackville-West of going skinny-dipping with Brooke in a moonlit pool when they were at Cambridge together. Brooke was also apparently admired by WB Yeats who called him “the handsomest young man in England“.

Rupert Brooke also belonged to the Georgian Poets and the Dymock poets which was associated with the area in Gloucestershire. He also lived at the Old Vicarage, Granchester.

He came to public attention in 1915 when The Times Literary Supplement quotes two of his five sonnets (IV: The Dead and V: The Soldier), the latter of which was later read from the pulpit of St Paul’s Cathedral on Easter Sunday.

Brooke’s most famous collection, 1914 & Other Poems was first published in May 1915, from which today’s poem was taken:

Song

ALL suddenly the wind comes soft,
And Spring is here again;
And the hawthorn quickens with buds of green,
And my heart with buds of pain.

My heart all Winter lay so numb,
The earth so dead and frore,
That I never thought the Spring would come,
Or my heart wake any more.

But Winter’s broken and earth has woken,
And the small birds cry again;
And the hawthorn hedge puts forth its buds,
And my heart puts forth its pain.

Rupert Brooke

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