The Soldier

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The soldier

IF I should die, think only this of me:
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever 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 the 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.

About "The Soldier

Rupert Brooke is often considered a "Georgian" poet, referring to the 20th century British movement named in honor of King George V. A soldier during World War I, Brooke died of dysentery and blood poisoning aboard a troop ship. Winston Churchill used the occasion of Brooke's death, as well as his posthumous collection 1914 and Other Poems to reinforce a recruitment drive.

This poem is considered to be an English nationalist poem, written in 1914. It glorifies the heroism of the English soldiers who fought in WWI. This poem is pointing out that war is not always started for the reasons that your government tells you; there is a larger picture to consider. It is often read at the memorial services of soldiers. In WWI, soldiers were not always able to bring back the bodies of their dead comrades. In France, dead soldiers were buried in the national cemetery, if their remains were found. However, there is a huge field dedicated to the unknown soldiers. As far as you can see there are only white crosses with names on them, but the names on the crosses don't necessarily match up with the bodies that are underneath them. "If I should die...forever England" (lines 1-3). He is saying that if he dies in battle he will forever remain in that foreign field and...
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