Let’s take a look at the poem. Scroll down and read it first, and then go back to the next sentence. The poet tells us: ‘If I die, etc.’ just think of it as a place in a distant land, in this case England. It could have been China, the United States, the Bahamas, whatever. The fact is that it is already very far away in time and place. The soldier is looking back at the images and impressions of his youth in that distant land, England, where he was born and lived most of his life. The imagery of his country and of his entire existence is moving farther and farther away, almost miraculously, and yet it seems almost palpably close and present: ‘the rich land’, ‘its flowers’, ‘the rivers’, ‘English air’, and more abstractly: ‘a pulse in the eternal mind’, ‘the thoughts given by England’, ‘happy dreams as your day’, ‘laughter’, ‘sweetness’,’ hearts at peace ‘and all’ under an English heaven. ‘
He also asks us: ‘And think, this heart, all badly poured out’ … What could this state of mind be other than the moment of death itself? Although the poem begins with a premonition and if this or that were to happen, it is actually describing how he says goodbye to everything he has ever known, everything he remembers about England, as both he and England are fading away and he is being buried in the earth. where he will also rest, but not that of England. He describes to us in a very poetic way how life is slowing down slowly, but gently, with joy and a pleasant memory of laughter and tranquility, and where in the end there is nothing left but a thought (ours, yours?). a blow. ‘under an English sky’.
Oh my dear American poet and critic whose name I will not mention here, you who have also passed away and are now also in that distant land. I suppose you have been discussing the true merits of this poem with its creator, Rupert Brooke, at least once since then. When I also go to that abode one day, I hope to join the conversation.
Rupert Brooke’s Soldier
If I die, think only of me:
That there is some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There will be
In that rich land a richer dust was hidden;
A powder that England carried, molded, made conscious,
He gave, once, his flowers to love, his ways of wandering,
A body from England, breathing English air,
Bathed by the rivers, blessed by the suns at home.
And think, this heart, all the evil spilled,
A pulse in the eternal mind, nothing less
Returns somewhere the thoughts given by England;
Your sights and sounds; happy dreams like your day;
And laughter, learned from friends; and sweetness,
In hearts at peace, under an English sky.
Rupert Brooke, 1914