loss and poetry

When I am sorely challenged I read poetry. I look to poems for solace, understanding, the telling of hard truths and unexpected joy. I haven’t yet grasped the enormity of the loss to this earth of Japan as it was, but I know that a part of our task is to witness, reflect and continue living. Rupert Brooke was a British soldier poet from the first World War. He seemed right for today.

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.

-Rupert Brooke

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About Tina Hoggatt

I am an artist and writer and work for 4Culture, King County's cultural arts organization.
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