ComprehensionIn the first stanza, the poet tells the reader that if one day he should die in a foreign country, his dead body will make that land a better place because a piece of England will be buried there.
England is personified: she is like a mother to him who gave him life, education and good values.
The poet loves his country for its beautiful landscape full of flowers, rivers and roads where man can live in close contact with nature.
In the second stanza, the poet tells us that dying at war will be a way to show gratitude to his mother country for all the joy and happiness that she gave him.
The poet’s soul will be purified by his death and when he dies his spirit will be given back to England and will live forever in peaceful hearts.
AnalysisThe poet is a soldier speaking to a person from his family, perhaps a woman.
The poem deals with the themes of war and patriotism. The poet will be proud to die for England, his mother country. In England he has spent a pure and innocent life, full of joy.
Brooke shows a classic romantic attitude to war: he expresses his strong enthusiasm, patriotism and idealism because he hasn’t experienced the cruelty of war.
The poem was written at the beginning of the war. Brooke died in 1915 of blood poisoning. He didn’t die at war and didn’t have time to see the horrors of fighting in the trenches.
The use of alliterations and enjambments or run-on lines makes the rhythm of the poem smooth and flowing.
The tone is patriotic and nostalgic.
LayoutThe poem is written in the form of an Italian sonnet. It is made up of 14 lines divided into two stanzas of eight lines (octet) and six lines (sestet).
It has a regular rhyme scheme, ABAB CDCD EFG EFG.