Rupert Brooke

De Britse dichter Rupert Chawner Brooke werd geboren op 3 augustus 1887 in Rugby, Engeland. Brooke was de zoon van een leraar aan de bekende school in Rugby en werd daar zelf ook opgeleid. Vervolgens bezocht hij de Universiteit van Cambridge, waar hij in 1909 afstudeerde. Daarna reisde hij door Europa en in de jaren 1913-1914 ook door de Verenigde Staten, Canada en Nieuw-Zeeland. Voor het uitbreken van de Eerste Wereldoorlog was hij terug in Engeland en nam dienst bij de marine. In 1915 vertrok hij op expeditie naar de Dardanellen, maar aan de militaire campagne zou hij niet deelnemen: hij overleed aan bloedvergiftiging en werd begraven op het eiland Skyros. De gedichten uit 1914 schreef Brookes in de herfst die volgde op het uitbreken van WO I.. The soldier is het beroemdste van deze gedichten, maar het favoriete gedicht van Brookes zelf was The Dead (IV).


The Way That Lovers Use

The way that lovers use is this;
They bow, catch hands, with never a word,
And their lips meet, and they do kiss,
— So I have heard.

They queerly find some healing so,
And strange attainment in the touch;
There is a secret lovers know,
— I have read as much.

And theirs no longer joy nor smart,
Changing or ending, night or day;
But mouth to mouth, and heart on heart,
— So lovers say.


1914 IV. The Dead

These hearts were woven of human joys and cares,
Washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth.
The years had given them kindness. Dawn was theirs,
And sunset, and the colours of the earth.
These had seen movement, and heard music; known
Slumber and waking; loved; gone proudly friended;
Felt the quick stir of wonder; sat alone;
Touched flowers and furs and cheeks. All this is ended.

There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.


 1914  V. 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.

Rupert Brooke (3 augustus 1887 – 23 april 1915)

1 thoughts on “Rupert Brooke

  1. hoe luidt het gedicht waarin voorkomt:
    faint hands wil row you outward,out
    beyond our sight
    us with stretched arms and empty eyes on
    the far-gleaming
    and marble sand…
    beyond the shifting cold twilight,
    futher than laughter goes, or tears,
    further than dreaming.

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