NEW

Painting Blunden’s Last Home

In 1964, after eleven years of living and teaching in Hong Kong, Edmund Blunden and his family moved back to England. Edmund’s eldest daughter by his first marriage, Clare, lived in the county of Suffolk, and she helped him to find the new family home, near to her in...

Taking another look

‘That’s where the difficulty is, over there’ From the years following the First World War up until the mid-1950s, although he was often abroad Edmund Blunden was at the heart of literary England, repeatedly called on to edit, comment, review, introduce, endorse. He...

Blunden’s daughter interviewed by Emma Barnett

Blunden's daughter interviewed by Emma Barnett on 7 May 2020 about his unpublished poem 'V Day' Here is a slightly edited transcript of the interview. Emma: Margi is one of Edmund's children and she had no idea that the poem existed until a few months ago, what a...

Edmund Blunden VE Day poem

V DayIf only bits of paper could speak! This manuscript, rescued from the roundabout of circulation these manuscripts often find themselves on, has found its purpose in a way it could never have dreamt of.In 2001 the Imperial War Museum purchased an unpublished poem...

NEW

Painting Blunden’s Last Home

In 1964, after eleven years of living and teaching in Hong Kong, Edmund Blunden and his family moved back to England. Edmund’s eldest daughter by his first marriage, Clare, lived in the county of Suffolk, and she helped him to find the new family home, near to her in...

Taking another look

‘That’s where the difficulty is, over there’ From the years following the First World War up until the mid-1950s, although he was often abroad Edmund Blunden was at the heart of literary England, repeatedly called on to edit, comment, review, introduce, endorse. He...

Blunden’s daughter interviewed by Emma Barnett

Blunden's daughter interviewed by Emma Barnett on 7 May 2020 about his unpublished poem 'V Day' Here is a slightly edited transcript of the interview. Emma: Margi is one of Edmund's children and she had no idea that the poem existed until a few months ago, what a...

Edmund Blunden VE Day poem

V DayIf only bits of paper could speak! This manuscript, rescued from the roundabout of circulation these manuscripts often find themselves on, has found its purpose in a way it could never have dreamt of.In 2001 the Imperial War Museum purchased an unpublished poem...

Late Poems

Hall Mill

After his return from Hong Kong in 1964, Blunden wrote his final poems before ill health overtook him in 1970.

The Golden Head Press, Cambridge published Eleven Poems in 1965.

A Swan, A Man and Ancre Sunshine are taken from this publication.

A Swan, A Man

Among the dead reeds, the single swan
Floats and explores the water-shallow under,
While the wet whistling wind blows on
And the path by the river is all alone,
And I at the old bridge wonder
If those are birds or leaves,
Small quick birds or withered leaves,
Astir on the grassy patch of green
Where the wind is not so rough and keen.
What happens to my thought-time,
To my desires, my deeds, this day?
The rainstorm beats the pitiful stream
With battle-pictures I had hoped to miss
But winter warfare could be worse than this;
Into the house, recall what dead friends say,
And like the Ancient Mariner learn to pray.

ANCRE SUNSHINE

In all his glory the sun was high and glowing
Over the farm world where we found great peace,
And clearest blue the winding river flowing
Seemed to be celebrating a release
From all that speed and music of its own
Which but for some few cows we heard alone.
Here half a century before might I,
Had something chanced, about this point have lain,
Looking with failing sense on such blue sky,
And then became a name with others slain.
But that thought vanished. Claire was wandering free
Miramont way in the golden tasselled lea.
The railway trains went by, and dreamily
I thought of them as planets in their course,
Thought bound perhaps for Arras, how would we
Have wondered once if through the furious force
Murdering our world one of these same had come,
Friendly and sensible – “the war’s over chum”.
And now it seemed Claire was afar, and I
Alone, and where she went perhaps the mill
That used to be had risen again and by
All that had fallen was in its old form still,
For her to witness, with no cold surprise,
In one of those moments when nothing dies.