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Great War at Sea Poetry


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#26 MichaelBully

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 09:15 PM

That's intriguing. Thanks for the information. Were any of the poems published- perhaps in local newspapers? Were they largely from members of the public who quite understandably, recognised the heroism of the Zeebrugge raid...or were some from men who were actively fighting?
Regards, Michael Bully

A few years ago I bought a package of documents relating to Lord Keyes of Zeebrugge fame. It included literally dozens of poems about the raid penned by admiring members of the public and sent to him! I'm not sure many would pass muster in quality terms, but they're quite interesting...



#27 MichaelBully

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Posted 15 December 2011 - 10:12 PM

That's great Charles, Thanks ever so for the link to 'Sea Warfare' , had not even heard of this text. I've only had a chance to have a very quick look, but noticed that Kipling starts the section on the Battle of Jutland with his poem 'My Boy Jack', which is about his son going missing after the Battle of Loos.
Reminds me of how 'My Brother Jack' draws on images most associated with the sea, as opposed to losses on the Western Front.

DESTROYERS AT JUTLAND

(1916)

"Have you news of my boy Jack?"
_Not this tide._
"When d'you think that he'll come back?"
_Not with this wind blowing, and this tide._

"Has any one else had word of him?"
_Not this tide.
For what is sunk will hardly swim,
Not with this wind blowing and this tide._

"Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?"
_None this tide,
Nor any tide,
Except he didn't shame his kind
Not even with that wind blowing and that tide._

_Then hold your head up all the more,
This tide,
And every tide,
Because he was the son you bore,
And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!_





Kipling's Sea Warfare contains some poems. I am not sure his poem 'The Trade' is in there (about the submarine service) but whether it is or not, both the book and the poem are definitely worth a look.


Best wishes



Charles



PS SW available free on www.archive.org



#28 domwalsh

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 02:31 PM

As I recall, they were mostly handwritten or typed and sent to Keyes. Don't think any were from participnats. Unfortunately I'm moving shortly so have packed relevant stuff away. Will have a look in the New Year. D

#29 MichaelBully

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Posted 21 December 2011 - 03:15 PM

Thanks Dom, good luck with the move and compliments of the season to you. Michael Bully

As I recall, they were mostly handwritten or typed and sent to Keyes. Don't think any were from participnats. Unfortunately I'm moving shortly so have packed relevant stuff away. Will have a look in the New Year. D



#30 domwalsh

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Posted 30 December 2011 - 05:33 PM

And to you. D

#31 MichaelBully

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 10:02 PM

Have been to the British Library today, had a chance to have a look at 'The Secret Of The Ships' by Captain R.A. Hopwood but found little that moved me. Most poems seem to be about pre-Great War themes apart from one concerning 'The Vanguard' on 9th June 1916.
Consulted Lt Cmdr Edward Hilton Young's work 'The Muse At Sea' which had some real gems, including 'At The Gate' which he seems to have written on board HMS Vindicative at Zeebrugge.

#32 Michael Johnson

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 10:58 PM

Don't forget Kipling's "Epitaphs of the War". Three of them are naval.

A Drifter Off Tarentum

He from the wind-bitten north with ship and companions descended.

Searching for eggs of death spawned by invisible hulls.

Many he found and drew forth. Of a sudden the fishery ended

In flame and a clamorous breath not new to the eye-pecking gulls.

Destroyers In Collision

For Fog and Fate no charm is found

To lighten or amend.

I, hurrying to my bride, was drowned--

Cut down by my best friend.

Convoy Escort



I was a shepherd to fools

Causelessly bold or afraid.

They would not abide by my rules.

Yet they escaped. For I stayed.



#33 MichaelBully

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:01 AM

Thank you very much Michael. In respect of Kilping, I have noticed that his text 'Fringes of the Fleet' contains a few poems.

http://www.kipling.o...inges_notes.htm


[quote name='Michael Johnson' timestamp='1332025113' post='1727352']
Don't forget Kipling's "Epitaphs of the War". Three of them are naval.

#34 MichaelBully

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 08:10 AM

I have been re-visiting this thread , after looking at Edward Hilton Young's poem 'At The Gate'. I can't find a text of it on line. There is a mention of

"Of Friend I loved, I raise in thoughts of thee
There is a sound of guns upon the sea,
Now, Miles, thy hand in mine- "

Realise that this probably was a reference to Miles Jeffrey Day. Thanks for your help on this Siege Gunner.

http://en.wikipedia....st_Baron_Kennet

The MJGD to whom the poem 'Air Service' is dedicated was Flight-Commander Miles Jeffery Game Day DSC RNAS, who was himself something of a rara avis, being an aviator/poet — http://en.wikipedia....iki/Jeffery_Day

After Jeff Day was lost in action off the Belgian coast in February 1918, Hilton Young arranged for a collection of his poems to be published (1919) under the title 'Poems & Rhymes', prefaced by a remarkable memoir of his 21yr old friend by the 38yr old EHY — http://www.archive.o...00dayj_djvu.txt

The E.C. referred to early in Hilton Young's memoir of Jeff Day was Erskine Childers (also RNAS), who described Day's work as 'pure gold'.

Mick



#35 seaJane

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Posted 18 March 2012 - 10:15 PM

"At the Gate" is on p.34 of E.H. Young's book A muse at sea. Linked here: http://www.archive.o...page/6/mode/2up

sJ

#36 MichaelBully

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:57 PM

That 's excellent SJ, much appreciated. Personally I find 'At The Gate' a very bleak but moving poem, particularly as whilst sailing off into action at Zeebrugge in 1918, the poet finds solace not in king and country, or the cause of the war itself, or in religion, but in thinking about the young men of his village and the memory of a close friend who was killed in action. Wish that this poem would get published in Great War poetry anthologies.
Regards,
Michael Bully

"At the Gate" is on p.34 of E.H. Young's book A muse at sea. Linked here: http://www.archive.o...page/6/mode/2up

sJ



#37 seaJane

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:37 PM

Well... there's obviously a niche in the market! :)

What's a little frustrating is looking at the advertisement list at the back of the Hilton Young book and wondering what those titles are like...

#38 MichaelBully

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:52 PM

AT THE GATE

It is all over; all my travelling
In changing, curious time; and I
of every vital thing that life can bring
have only left, to die

I have no hope, no fear for my distress
There is no man on earth so free.
Hope cannot vex one that is futureless;
fear ends in certainty.

No hope, no fear, no triumph, no regret,
but darkness of the gathering shades.
What have I left to hold for comfort yet,
now that daylight fades?

I will think of all good things that I have known
of everything that I loved best
I will take all their beauty for my own
to be my strength and rest.

Stand by me now, all tranquil memories
the firelit ceiling's shadow-press
a waking child has watched in ecstasies
of drowsy happiness

The long, wet orchards grass, the swift mill-race,
the shining blossoms on the bough,
the lads that came there for a bathing-place,
dear lads!-stand by me now!

And one high verge of upland; when the nights
was falling on the fields beneath,
thence could the poised spirit take its flight
far beyond time and death.

The time is come, and last, to be my guide
through this dim ending of the way.
I take the hero-soul of one who died,
and, living , lit the day.

O friend I loved, I raise in thoughts of thee
the heart that beat at one with thine.
There is a sound of guns upon the sea;
'now Miles, thy hand in mine-

HMS Vindictive, 1918

E. Hilton Young 'A Muse at Sea'

#39 MichaelBully

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 08:57 PM

Hello Sea Jane, after trying to find ways of copying 'At The Gate' decided that the easiest course of action was to type it out.
Yes seriously, I think that a Great War at Sea poetry anthology would be a great idea. Any suggestions how one would go about this?
Regards, Michael Bully


Well... there's obviously a niche in the market! :)

What's a little frustrating is looking at the advertisement list at the back of the Hilton Young book and wondering what those titles are like...



#40 seaJane

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 10:22 PM

Hello Sea Jane, after trying to find ways of copying 'At The Gate' decided that the easiest course of action was to type it out.
Yes seriously, I think that a Great War at Sea poetry anthology would be a great idea. Any suggestions how one would go about this?
Regards, Michael Bully


Hi Michael,

Without wanting to stir things up too much: one of the first problems you're going to find with the anthology is the matter of copyright - exemplified by the fact that Young didn't die till 1960, and although his son Wayland died in 2009 reproduction rights to E.H.Y.'s work probably still rest with Wayland's six children until 2030 (70 years after the author's death). I don't know how archive.org got round this legally unless with permission, or because they are an educational site.

I have a friend compiling a self-published poetry anthology at the moment and she has ensured that all her included poets are genuinely in the public domain; she is also self-publishing it. I'll ask her whether she has any particular suggestions, and ask around elsewhere - I know a few people in the trade.

sJ

#41 MichaelBully

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 11:18 PM

Good point SJ re. copyright, I had naively assumed that with E.H.Y.'s work being on archive.org that this was no longer an issue. Any advice regarding a Great War at Sea poetry anthology
is most welcome. Regards, Michael Bully

Hi Michael,

Without wanting to stir things up too much: one of the first problems you're going to find with the anthology is the matter of copyright - exemplified by the fact that Young didn't die till 1960, and although his son Wayland died in 2009 reproduction rights to E.H.Y.'s work probably still rest with Wayland's six children until 2030 (70 years after the author's death). I don't know how archive.org got round this legally unless with permission, or because they are an educational site.

I have a friend compiling a self-published poetry anthology at the moment and she has ensured that all her included poets are genuinely in the public domain; she is also self-publishing it. I'll ask her whether she has any particular suggestions, and ask around elsewhere - I know a few people in the trade.

sJ



#42 seaJane

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:01 AM

Hi Michael, I've just had a reply from my anthology-compiling friend but I seem to have lost your e-mail - if you don't mind sending it again by PM I will forward her message.

sJ

#43 CarylW

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 09:38 AM

Recently bought a few old naval titles and amongst them is a bit of a battered copy of Indiscretions of the Naval censor written in 1920 by Sir Robert Brownrigg. The book is also online at archive.org (just discovered there is a signature inside my copy of a previous owner, a H Ian Maciver who may be the author with that name who wrote Amateurs Afloat !)
In the chapter Artists and the Naval War is a poem written by a Mr. 'Jimmy' Bone of the Manchester Guardian, brother of the artist Mr. Muirhead Bone and the author Captain David Bone.

I don't know if 'Jimmy' Bone wrote any other poems which may have been published in the Manchester Guardian but the Guardian archives are online for a subscription and sometimes there is a free one day pass available

This is how Brownrigg described him in that chapter of the book:

I call to mind some pleasant evenings spent in company with yet another brother, Mr. " Jimmy " Bone of the Manchester Guardian, at the latter's room. I will not give the address, because if it were known it is possible that he might be raided for his fifteen-year-old whisky. Also he may have other poems similar to the following which the Manchester Guardian reading public should be permitted to
see!

Its subject, needless to say, is Captain, now Admiral Sir, W. R. Hall, then Director of Naval
Intelligence :


My name is Captain Hall,

Damn your eyes ;
They call me " Blinker Hall,"

Damn their eyes ;
My name is Captain Hall.
I adore you, one and all,

Damn your eyes.

Damn your eyes —

Have some baccy !

I know each new U-boat,

Damn your eyes ;
And every mine afloat,

Damn its eyes ;
And I almost get a blink on
Your old friend Tribitsch Lincoln,

Damn his eyes,

Damn his eyes —
Happy days !

They say I stuffed the Press,

Damn their eyes ;
'Twas the gospel, more or less,

Damn their eyes ;
S'truth I hardly said a word
It was Wilson* that you heard,

Damn his eves.

Damn his eyes —

Have a submarine !

And Sir Douglas he did come,

Damn his eyes ;
Sir Douglas he would come,
Damn his eyes ;

•Mr. H. W. Wilson, of Daily Mail


And he looked so very glum
As he censored out each plum,

Damn his eyes,

Damn his eyes —

Have a blue pencil !

And now in peace I dwell,

Damn your eyes ;
Tho' there isn't much to tell,

Damn your eyes ;
There's a lot of things to mind
In the time we've left behind,

Damn your eyes,

Damn your eyes
For the duration of peace


Caryl

#44 seaJane

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:09 PM

Like it!



#45 MichaelBully

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 12:41 PM

Enjoyed that immensly, thanks Caryl.

Sea Jane, will PM you with e mail address, best, Michael Bully

Like it!




#46 seaJane

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:31 PM

PM received, VMT

#47 David Underdown

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Posted 24 March 2012 - 06:36 PM

Copyright is complicated because things published in the US before 1923 (I think that's the key year) are generally out of copyright there, but may well still be copyright here. I suspect archive.org goes by the US rules

#48 MichaelBully

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Posted 25 March 2012 - 12:05 PM

Thanks David- that might well explain how archive.org can possibly get round British copyright legislation. Regards

Copyright is complicated because things published in the US before 1923 (I think that's the key year) are generally out of copyright there, but may well still be copyright here. I suspect archive.org goes by the US rules



#49 MichaelBully

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Posted 31 March 2012 - 07:59 PM

Have just been to the British Library , and consulted 'Voices of Silence-The Alternative Book of First World War Poetry ' edited by Vivien Noakes 2006 : As the title suggest , this anthology highlights lesser known Great War poetry. There is a section on poetry related to the war at sea, good to know that such material has made it into an anthology. Michael Bully

#50 MichaelBully

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 03:29 PM

Found this website here that lists some 'Great War at Sea Poetry' : First appeared in an anthology 'A Muse at Arms' published in November 1917, edited by E.B.Osbourne

http://www.firstworl...a_seaaffair.htm