Here's a poem by Edward Thomas, and here, too, is his lovely photograph. Thomas's work is often anthologized in collections of World War I poetry, but his poems are far less specific about battle experiences than, say, Rupert Brooke's or Siegfried Sassoon's tend to be.
Thomas was killed in action in 1917.
Gone, Gone AgainEdward ThomasGone, gone again,May, June, July,And August gone,Again gone by,Not memorableSave that I saw them go,As past the empty quaysThe rivers flow.And now again,In the harvest rain,The Blenheim orangesFall grubby from the treesAs when I was young--And when the lost one was here--And when the war beganTo turn young men to dung.Look at the old house,Outmoded, dignified,Dark and untenanted,With grass growing insteadOf the footsteps of life,The friendliness, the strife;In its beds have lainYouth, love, age, and pain:I am something like that;Only I am not dead,Still breathing and interestedIn the house that is not dark:--I am something like that:Not one pane to reflect the sun,For the schoolboys to throw at--They have broken every one.
Tom has a photo opening tonight at Common Street Gallery in Waterville. I can't go because I'm going to visiting hours for Amy, Monica, and Coty, which means this may be the first of Tom's openings I've ever missed. But when Linda called yesterday morning, and I told her how disturbed I was about his not being able to come tonight, she told me that she knew how much he cared about her and that we shouldn't worry. This is exactly like Linda: always trying to soothe other people's anxieties.
We talked for a long time, and I told her about another one of my anxieties. Where were the children's pets? What had happened to them? The newspaper article said that the only thing left alive in the house was the puppy that Amy had recently brought home. Linda told me that the person who had given Amy the puppy had taken him back. For the moment, a neighbor is feeding the cats outside because no one is allowed into the house while it's still a crime scene. Afterwards, the family will have to decide what to do with the cats. I said I would take in at least one of them, if need be. My Paul is starry-eyed at the thought. We'll see what transpires.