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Poem Title:  A Channel Passage

Poem Category:  Love Poems

Poet:  Rupert Brooke

Poet Biography: 
Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) wrote in the neo-Romanticism style of the Georgian Poets. Although often regarded as a war poet, enthusiasts regard him as truely a pre-war poet. Brooke's entire reputation as a war poet rests on only 5 "war sonnets" (6 if you count "Treasure" -- unnumbered in his short sonnet cycle). Brooke's war experience consisted of one day of limited military action with the Hood Battalion during the evacuation of Antwerp.



Poem: 
The damned ship lurched and slithered. Quiet and quick
My cold gorge rose; the long sea rolled; I knew
I must think hard of something, or be sick;
And could think hard of only one thing -- YOU!
You, you alone could hold my fancy ever!
And with you memories come, sharp pain, and dole.
Now there's a choice -- heartache or tortured liver!
A sea-sick body, or a you-sick soul!

Do I forget you? Retchings twist and tie me,
Old meat, good meals, brown gobbets, up I throw.
Do I remember? Acrid return and slimy,
The sobs and slobber of a last years woe.
And still the sick ship rolls. 'Tis hard, I tell ye,
To choose 'twixt love and nausea, heart and belly.


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