“Poppies whose roots are in men’s veins
Drop, and are ever dropping;
But mine in my ear is safe,
Just a little white with the dust.”
I’m thrilled to share the publication of my first ever official magazine feature, for History of War’s #somme100 issue—on war poetry, of course. My feature, focusing on a handful of selected poems, is spread throughout the issue, set against some beautiful images chosen by the production team, and I’ve written a small piece of context for each one, which is hopefully equally interesting and informative. The four poets whom I’ve chosen—William Noel Hodgson, Robert Graves, Alan Seeger, and Isaac Rosenberg—all fought in the Battle of the Somme across its bloody four-month-long campaign; Hodgson and Seeger were both lost at its start, Rosenberg would later be killed in the spring of 1918, and Graves, of course, survived the war.
If you’re interested in picking up a copy of the magazine, it’s available to buy in most local retailers for £4.99 or you can purchase it on the website here. You’ll even be treated to a picture of my beaming face on the inside cover! Really, though, the issue has some excellent features, my own aside, and it’s well worth taking a look at.
As a last little note, I’m also honoured to say that I shall be in France at the end of this month and in attendance at Thiepval for the Somme commemorations; an annual pilgrimage, but an even more special one this year. It’s been almost seven months since I last stepped onto the battlefields and I am itching to be back out there…