Rupert Brooke

(1887—1915) poet

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won a scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, where he spent five years as a leader of the literary world. He settled at Granchester in 1909. Poems 1911 was well received, as was his work in the first and second volumes of Georgian Poetry. In 1913 he won a fellowship to King's; wrote a stark one‐act play, Lithuania; and suffered a serious breakdown which led him in 1913 to travel in the US, Canada, and the Pacific, where, in Tahiti, he wrote ‘Tiara Tahiti’ and other poems. In 1914 he joined the RNVR and took part in the Antwerp expedition; he died on the way to the Dardanelles of blood‐poisoning and was buried on Scyros. His five ‘War Sonnets’, which included ‘The Soldier’ (‘If I should die’), appeared in New Numbers early in 1915. The ecstatic reception they received made him the nation's poet of war, a reputation further enhanced by the posthumous publication of 1914 and Other Poems in 1915. He is now chiefly valued for his lighter verse, such as ‘The Old Vicarage, Granchester’ and ‘Heaven’; for the Tahiti poems; for a few sonnets (other than the war sequence); and for an intriguing last fragment ‘I strayed about the deck’. His Collected Poems, with a memoir by E. Marsh, appeared in 1918, and further poems were added in the Poetical Works edited by G. Keynes in 1946.

Subjects: Literature.

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