Patriotic War Sonnets of Rupert Brooke:

Topics: Rupert Brooke, Poetry, Virginia Woolf Pages: 2 (802 words) Published: March 16, 2011
Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English war poet who is best known for his collection of idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War and his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”. Poets in Brooke’s time were vastly known to glorify war; however Brooke’s poetry with its patriotic mood and naive enthusiasm soon went out of fashion when the realities of war were fully understood. His poem Peace is highly well renowned, since it is fairly easy to understand and is structured as a sonnet which uses religious imagery and describes turning away from the old to the new, like a religious conversion and is, in a way, describing the re-birth of a soldier. Peace compares Death to Life, embracing the idea that Death may not actually be bad or a time of suffering, but instead it is a time of Peace and Serenity, hence the title of the poem, Peace. In the sonnet, Brooke also speculates that there is a world outside the realms of the living where one, specifically a soldier, will go to when they are deceased, a world ‘Where there’s no ill, no grief, but sleep has mending’. In addition to this, he scoffs at those men who refrain from going to war by calling them half-men, which enforces the idea that they are cowardly and timid. Brooke uses symbolic language to describe the youths as chosen by God who has ‘matched us with his hour’. In other words, God has made them suitable to take part in the war which thus assumes the nature of a crusade. God has given the youth bodily strength. There are many aspects of Life, Death and Religion which Brooke explores throughout the process of his poem. Peace is written in sonnet form. Brooke uses an ABAB rhyming pattern in the first stanza, and an ABCABC one in the second. There are 8 lines in the first stanza, whereas there are only 6 in the second stanza. However, Brooke not only bends sonnet rules, he also tacks on n extra syllable to ten of...
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