Charles Hamilton Sorley Poems

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Charles Hamilton Sorley
Captain Charles Hamilton Sorley (19 May 1895 13 October 1915) was a British poet of World War I. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, he was the son of William Ritchie Sorley. He was educated, like Siegfried Sassoon, at Marlborough College (190813). At Marlborough College Sorley's favourite pursuit was cross-country running in the rain, a theme evident in many of his pre-war poems, including "Rain" and "The Song of the Ungirt Runners". Before taking up a scholarship to study at University College, Oxford, Sorley studied in Schwerin, Germany, up to the outbreak of World War I. After a brief detention in Trier, Sorley returned to England and volunteered for military service, joining the Suffolk Regiment. He arrived at the Western Front in France as a lieutenant in May 1915, and quickly rose to the rank of Captain at the age of only twenty. Sorley was killed in action, shot in the head by a sniper, at the Battle of Loos on October 13, 1915. Robert Graves, a contemporary of Sorley's, described him in his book Goodbye to All That as "one of the three poets of importance killed during the war". (The other two were Isaac Rosenberg and Wilfred Owen.)

my days among the dead are past
 
 
My days among the Dead are past;
Around me I behold,
Where'er these casual eyes are ca... [read poem]
crucible
 
 
Hot gold runs a winding stream on the inside of a green bowl.

Yellow trickles in a fan fi... [read poem]
maybe
 
 
Maybe he believes me, maybe not.
Maybe I can marry him, maybe not.

Maybe the wind on... [read poem]
the lawyers know too much
 
 
The lawyers, Bob, know too much.
They are chums of the books of old John Marshall.
They kn... [read poem]
the well of st. keyne
 
 
A Well there is in the west country,
And a clearer one never was seen;
There is not a ... [read poem]
god's judgment on a wicked bishop
 
 
The summer and autumn had been so wet,
That in winter the corn was growing yet,
'Twas a pi... [read poem]
the old man's complaints. and how he gained them
 
 
You are old, Father William, the young man cried,
The few locks which are left you are grey... [read poem]
grass
 
 
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work --
I am... [read poem]
last answers
 
 
I wrote a poem on the mist
And a woman asked me what I meant by it.
I had thought till the... [read poem]
fog
 
 
The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on ... [read poem]
soup
 
 
I saw a famous man eating soup.
I say he was lifting a fat broth
Into his mouth with a spo... [read poem]
offering and rebuff
 
 
I could love you
as dry roots love rain.
I could hold you
as branches in the wind... [read poem]
all the hills and vales along
 
 
All the hills and vales along
Earth is bursting into song,
And the singers are the chaps... [read poem]
dust
 
 
Here is dust remembers it was a rose
one time and lay in a woman's hair.
Here is dust reme... [read poem]
pennsylvania
 
 
I have been in Pennsylvania,
In the Monongahela and Hocking Valleys.

In the blue Sus... [read poem]
chicago
 
 
Hog Butcher for the World,
Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat,
Player with Railr... [read poem]
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