These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light;
The strong crust of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrop couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble;
And the rough male kiss of blankets ;
life hair that is shining and free;
the keen unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
the benison of hot water;
furs to touch;
the good smell of old clothes; and other such.
I have been so great a love: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of love’s praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair.
These few exquisite lines are from the poem THE GREAT LOVER by Rupert Brooke. Rupert Brooke was a handsome, charming and talented English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War. He was only 28 years old when he died.
Nine years ago I began a battle with breast cancer. The poetry of Rupert Brooke’s took me to worlds away, and inspired me daily to quietly add words of my own “to cheat despair”.