I’m still reading the poetry of WWI but, as it’s Easter Sunday, I’ve chosen two poems written at Easter. The first is by Edward Thomas & is called In Memoriam (Easter 1915). This title was given to the poem by an editor. The title on the manuscript was the less poetic 6.IV.15. You can read more about it here in a post by Tim Kendall, President of the War Poets Association.
The flowers left thick at nightfall in the wood
This Eastertide call into mind the men,
Now far from home, who, with their sweethearts, should
Have gathered them and will do never again.
Edward Thomas was killed at Arras on Easter Monday 1917 & his friend, Eleanor Farjeon, wrote this poem, Easter Monday (In Memoriam E.T.).
In the last letter that I had from France
You thanked me for the silver Easter egg
Which I had hidden in the box of apples
You liked to munch beyond all other fruit.
You found the egg the Monday before Easter,
And said, ‘I will praise Easter Monday now –
It was such a lovely morning.’ Then you spoke
Of the coming battle and said, ‘This is the eve,
Good-bye. And may I have a letter soon.’
That Easter Monday was a day for praise,
It was such a lovely morning. In our garden
We sowed our earliest seeds, and in the orchard
The apple-bud was ripe. It was the eve.
There are three letters that you will not get.