Rupert Chawner/Chaucer Brooke (1887-1915), was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War especially The Soldier, however, he never experienced combat at first hand. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as [The handsomest young ...
Rupert Chawner/Chaucer Brooke (1887-1915), was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War especially The Soldier, however, he never experienced combat at first hand. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as [The handsomest young man in England[. He attended Hillbrow Prep School before being educated at Rugby School. While travelling in Europe, he prepared a thesis entitled John Webster and the Elizabethan Drama, which won him a scholarship to King[s College, Cambridge, where he became a member of the Cambridge Apostles, helped found the Marlowe Society drama club and acted in plays including the Cambridge Greek Play. Brooke toured the United States and Canada to write travel diaries for the Westminster Gazette. Amongst his other works are: The Bastille (1905), Poems (1911), The South Seas (1914), 1914 and Other Poems (1915), Lithuania (1915), The Collected Poems (1915/1918) and Letters from America (1916).
Rupert Brooke, taken young in WW1 by a mosquito bite gone septic, buried in Greece, captivates none the less nearly a century later. A bit of biographical background, particularly his letters to Noel Olivier and hers in return, plus his Letters From America (which expands to RL Stevenson's South Pacific), will make more sense of the mood and man behind the verse. Verse that is much more than "war" poetry. A celebration of life and nature, swimming in the moonlight, living in a garden south of Cambridge, which to this day serves tea and has a small memorial of a museum to Brooke and the Grantchester Group, of which he was the heart and soul. A book for all Anglophiles and those to whom quality of life is about living joyfully, preferably in a garden... Two of the poems are a trout's eye view of the world: lovely, brings a smile to consider the universe from the trout stream and swimming spot beloved of Byron and Brooke.
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