Saturday, November 17, 2012


Rupert Brooke was one of the best poets of the English language, he died young in war. 

(Below is a photograph by Sherrill Schell, of the poet Rupert Brooke in 1913. The photo is from the book The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke published 1926)

Rupert Brooke 

Nationality - English
Lifespan - 1887 - 1915
Family - Father was House Master at Rugby School
Education - Cambridge University
Career - Poet and Officer in Royal Navy
First Published in 1909 

Famous Poems

The Chilterns
The Dead
The Soldier
The Great Lover

This informations from of the Academy of American poets:

Rupert Brooke

English poet Rupert Chawner Brooke was born in 1887. The son of the Rugby School's housemaster, Brooke excelled in both academics and athletics. He entered his father's school at the age of fourteen. A lover of verse since the age of nine, he won the school poetry prize in 1905.

A year later, he attended King's College, Cambridge, where he was known for his striking good looks, charm, and intellect. While at Cambridge, he developed an interest in acting and was president of the University Fabian Society. Brooke published his first poems in 1909; his first book, Poems, appeared in 1911. While working on his dissertation on John Webster and Elizabethan dramatists, he lived in the house that he made famous by his poem "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester."

Popular in both literary and political circles, he befriended Winston Churchill, Henry James, and members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Virginia Woolf. Although he was popular, Brooke had a troubled love life. Between 1908 and 1912 he fell in love with three women: Noel Olivier, youngest daughter of the governor of Jamaica; Ka Cox, who preceded him as president of the Fabian Society; and Cathleen Nesbitt, a British actress. None of the relationships were long lasting. In 1912, after his third romance failed, Brooke left England to travel in France and Germany for several months.

Upon his return to England, Brooke received a fellowship at King's College and spent time in both Cambridge and London. In 1912 he compiled an anthology entitled Georgian Poetry, 1911-12, with Edward Marsh. The Georgian poets wrote in an anti-Victorian style, using rustic themes and subjects such as friendship and love. While critics viewed Brooke's poetry as too sentimental and lacking depth, they also considered his work a reflection of the mood in England during the years leading up to World War I.

After experiencing a mental breakdown in 1913, Brooke traveled again, spending several months in America, Canada, and the South Seas. During his trip, he wrote essays about his impressions for the Westminster Gazette, which were collected in Letters From America (1916). While in the South Seas, he wrote some of his best poems, including "Tiare Tahiti" and "The Great Lover."

He returned to England at the outbreak of World War I and enlisted in the Royal Naval Division. His most famous work, the sonnet sequence 1914 and Other Poems, appeared in 1915. Later that year, after taking part in the Antwerp Expedition, he died of blood poisoning from a mosquito bite while en route to Gallipoli with the Navy. He was buried on the island of Skyros in the Aegean Sea.

Following his death, Brooke, who was already famous, became a symbol in England of the tragic loss of talented youth during the war.

A Selected Bibliography

Poems (1911)
Georgian Poetry, 1911-1912 (1912)
1914, and Other Poems (1915)
The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke (1915)
The Collected Poems of Rupert Brooke (1918)
The Poetical Works of Rupert Brooke (1946)


Lithuania: A Drama in One Act (1915)
John Webster and the Elizabethan Drama (1916)
Letters From America (1916)
Democracy and the Arts (1946)
The Prose of Rupert Brooke (1956)
The Letters of Rupert Brooke (1968)
Rupert Brooke: A Reappraisal and Selection From His Writings, Some Hitherto Unpublished (1971)
Letters From Rupert Brooke to His Publisher, 1911-1914 (1975)

Rupert Brooke

'Here lies the servant of God, sub-lieutenant in the English Navy,
who died for the deliverance of Constantinople from the Turks'
The late talented and patriotic English poet lies buried in an olive grove on Skyros Island of Greece, near Tris Boukes Bay. The tomb is some 50 yards to the left of the road which descends down to the bay.
Tomb of Rupert Brooke
Photograph by Neil Maybin

When he was at Cambridge University, the poet moved out of London and lived at The Old Vicarage in Grantchester. Years later when feeling in Berlin, the poet reminisce about the past he had spent there and composed the poem: The Old Vicarage, Grantchester and concludiong it with this well-known famous couplet:
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

Brooke in 1913 Brooke suffered a nervous breakdown, he tried to recover by travelling to the United States, Canada and the Pacific islands. When he was in Tahiti, Brooke wrote Tiara Tahiti and other poetry considered to be among his best poems.

In 1914 Brooke joined the Royal Navy and took part in the Antwerp expedition.

The poet died of blood-poisoning aboard a hospital ship on the way to the Dardanelles. He was originally buried by his fellow officers. The body was carried to the olive grove in the evening and a simple stone cairn was built, with a wooden cross bearing the above inscription was erected.

After World War I ended, at the instigation of his mother, Brooke's tomb was replaced by the present grave and has the inscription of his famous war sonnet 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.

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