||Dead Men's Love
|Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) wrote in the neo-Romanticism style of the Georgian Poets. Although often regarded as a war poet, enthusiasts regard him as truely a pre-war poet.
Brooke's entire reputation as a war poet rests on only 5 "war sonnets" (6 if you count "Treasure" -- unnumbered in his short sonnet cycle). Brooke's war experience consisted of one day of limited military action with the Hood Battalion during the evacuation of Antwerp.
|There was a damned successful Poet;
There was a Woman like the Sun.
And they were dead. They did not know it.
They did not know their time was done.
They did not know his hymns
Were silence; and her limbs,
That had served Love so well,
Dust, and a filthy smell.
And so one day, as ever of old,
Hands out, they hurried, knee to knee;
On fire to cling and kiss and hold
And, in the other's eyes, to see
Each his own tiny face,
And in that long embrace
Feel lip and breast grow warm
To breast and lip and arm.
So knee to knee they sped again,
And laugh to laugh they ran, I'm told,
Across the streets of Hell . . .
They suddenly felt the wind blow cold,
And knew, so closely pressed,
Chill air on lip and breast,
And, with a sick surprise,
The emptiness of eyes.
Other Love Poems