Thursday, April 23, 2015

Today -100: April 23, 1915: Some corner of a foreign field

Britain stops all shipping between the UK and the Netherlands for unspecified reasons that certainly have nothing to do with preventing delegates going to the peace congress at the Hague.

Headline of the Day -100:

Sounds like some sort of internet sex thing.

Really sounds like some sort of internet sex thing.

Um, yeah.

Danish explorer Algot Lange writes the warden of Sing Sing, asking him to supply Lange with any soon-to-be-released prisoner willing to go with him to Brazil. The prisoner would have to want a fresh start in life (if your idea of a fresh start involves tropical diseases) and be willing to spend three years wandering around the Amazon for no pay. I don’t know how it went – I can find no record of Lange after 1915.

The French government will make war orphans wards of the state.

Adèle Hugo, the mentally ill daughter of novelist Victor Hugo (played by Isabelle Adjani in Truffaut’s The Story of Adele H.), dies at 84.

Killed in action: Rupert Brooke, Bloomsbury Group poet, 27, described by Yeats as the handsomest young man in England. Drink him in:

Well, I say he was killed in action, actually it was an infected mosquito bite. His war poems express the early, optimistic phase of the war, and not the fun depressive, angry, ironic war poems of the later war, but all the better to cement his posthumous image as symbol of all the idealistic pretty young men sacrificed by cynical and/or incompetent old men.

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.

Greece, by the way: the foreign field he’s buried in is in Greece.

Update: Nice article on Brooke by Joanna Scutts on the New Yorker website today.

Don't see comments? Click on the post title to view or post comments.

1 comment:

Ronald C Couch said...

Looks like Mr. Lange might have made it to the Amazon, but not back: