Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke was one of the early poets in the war. He felt privileged like
many to fight for their country. He died of illness in 1915 before having seen
any action. He wrote in a romantic style of optimists towards war. He is
remembered as a "war poet" who inspired patriotism in the early months
of the Great War. He was good at poetry but had not seen the fear of the war. He
would have been shocked to see what became of the war. His view towards war
would have changed if he had. 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; He sights and sounds;
dreams happy as her day; And laughter learnt of friends: and gentleness, In
hearts at peace, under an English heaven. He was proud that he was part of
history of helping England, the country that had given him life and joy. He
hadn't and was never going to see the dreadfulness of the war. Mc Crae wrote
about Flanders Fields in 1915. It is the most famous poem. Mc Crae didn't see
the worst of the war. In one year 60 000 English men were going to die in one
day. This was written after the first major battle in Belgium. His poems show a
change of attitude, unlike the Soldier Flanders Fields talks about guns. It uses
poignant irony (emotional power) to explain how he is feeling. It is a
bittersweet poem. It does not contempate death in a future sense like The

Soldier but talks about the past. It is sad but still jingoistic Through the
sense of tragedy there is something brighter. The value is that war is tragic,
but not pointless like Owen points out. It is only pointless if we do not carry
out what the soldiers began. . There is a value, that death is tragic. He
justifies the wretched sacrifice by explaining that is it is necessary to carry
on and win the war, or the sacrifice will be in vain. The symbols he uses are
poppies and crosses, which are still seen today in Flanders Fields. At the time
when he was writing this poem, the fields were not so beautiful. The once flat
terrain had become the land of shells and bodies. Torrential rains turned

Flanders into a swamp. This became a death whole for tried soldiers. Hundreds of
men drowned in mud blood and slime. (Shermer.D (1973) p 190) In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row That mark
out place: in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scares heard amid
the guns below. We are the dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunsets
glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders Fields. Take up our
quarrels with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to
hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though
poppies grow In Flanders Fields. It reminds us that the soldiers had feelings.

It is ambiguous and patriotic. He is talking to the next soldiers that will take
his place and fight for his country. His images have become part of the
collective memory of war. Each image accurately triggers off its expected
emotional response. The red flowers, of traditional pastoral elegy and the
crosses, which suggest the idea of Calvary and sacrifice. The skies from the
trenches- the birds sing, in the midst of the horror and terrors, of man's
greatest folly. "The conception of soldiers as lovers; and the antithesis
drawn between beds and graves. The poem sails across the imagination laden with
literary associations ransacked from the riches of the past." It is tragic
but not pointless like Owen, he justifies the sacrifice. (Fussell.P (1997) p1)

Mc Crae is talking to people on a personal level. They are beginning to ask
questions about perusing the morals of war. He is saying that we must keep
trying. http://www.emory .edu/ENGLISH/LostPoets/JM-Comment.html Wilfred Owen
offered an arguable point- whether Christianity