Jerry Wei Nov 20, 2011 The Better War Poet?
Rupert Brooke or Emily Dickinson
* Background Research on WW I:
* It began on July 28, 1914, and ended on Nov. 11, 1918.
* Nearly 10 million soldiers died during the four years of the war. Most of the battles took place in Europe. They were fought on land, at sea, and in the air. * Two groups of nations fought World War I. One group was called the Central Powers. It included Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. The other group was called the Allies. It was made up of more than 20 countries. The initial Allied powers were France, the United Kingdom, and Russia. Italy joined them in 1915. The United States joined the Allied cause in 1917. * There were many reasons for World War I. But the event that started the war was the assassination, or killing, of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the ruler of a country called Austria-Hungary. * After the Central Powers surrendered, or gave up, a peace treaty was signed. Austria-Hungary and Germany gave up some of their land, and the names and borders of some countries changed. * Several new kinds of weapons and warfare were introduced during World War I such as poison gas, flame thrower, artillery and machine gun, tank, airplane, and submarine.
* Biographical Research:
* Rupert Chawner Brooke was born in Rugby, England, on August 3, 1887. * Young Brooke, the middle child among three brothers, attended Rugby School, playing cricket and football, excelling in English, winning prizes for his poetry, and becoming Head Boy. * From Rugby, Brooke entered King’s College, Cambridge, where, under the influence of more modern writers and intellectuals, he abandoned some of the Decadent fin de siècle postures found in his earlier poetry. * Freed from the day-to-day influence of his family, he joined the socialist Fabian Society and university dramatic groups; he also began writing for the Cambridge Review, a university journal with a national reputation. During his Cambridge years, from 1906 to 1909, he wrote at least sixty poems, about a third of which were printed in his first volume of poetry, Poems, in 1911. * Failure to receive a first-class degree and the complications of emotional exhaustion prompted Brooke to leave Cambridge for the small village of Grantchester, just a few miles distant but far enough from the attractions of the University City. * In early 1912, however, Brooke suffered a breakdown, compounded by both personal and professional considerations. His literary career, his dependency on his changing circle of acquaintances, his relationship with his mother, and his other emotional attachments led him to fear that he was becoming insane. * In 1913, Brooke traveled to Canada, the United States, and the islands of the South Pacific. By the time of Brooke’s return to England in the spring of 1914, his future seemed bright as a poet or literary critic, even perchance a politician. * On the day after his twenty-seventh birthday, however, Great Britain entered World War I, and Brooke soon sought an officer’s commission. * In spite of Brooke’s robust appearance, his health had always been problematic, and before his unit entered combat he became ill with fever and died on a hospital ship in the Aegean Sea on April 23, 1915, England’s St. George’s Day.
* Poems About War:
Down the blue night the unending columns press
In noiseless tumult, break and wave and flow,
Now tread the far South, or lift rounds of snow
Up to the white moon's hidden loveliness.
Some pause in their grave wandering comradeless,
And turn with profound gesture vague and slow,
As who would pray good for the world, but know
Their benediction empty as they bless.
They say that the Dead die not, but remain
Near to the rich heirs of their grief and mirth....
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