Posted in Books I have read

First World War Centenary

One Hundred Years ago today World War I started and changed the lives of a generation.

I found this poem which unusually for poetry we know from this time, is written by a woman, Jessie Pope. I think this perfectly illustrates the thoughts of the women who were at home hoping and praying for the men they knew and loved.

Socks – Jessie Pope

Shining pins that dart and click
In the fireside’s sheltered peace
Check the thoughts the cluster thick –

20 plain and then decrease.

He was brave – well, so was I –
Keen and merry, but his lip
Quivered when he said good-bye –

Purl the seam-stitch, purl and slip.

Never used to living rough,
Lots of things he’d got to learn;
Wonder if he’s warm enough –

Knit 2, catch 2, knit, turn.

Hark! The paper-boys again!
Wish that shout could be suppressed;
Keeps one always on the strain –

Knit off 9, and slip the rest.

Wonder if he’s fighting now,
What he’s done an’ where he’s been;
He’ll come out on top somehow –

Slip 1, knit 2, purl 14.

Two books that brilliantly illustrate the lives of those living through the war are: Wake by Anna Hope and Worthless Men by Andrew Cowan.

Click the book covers to read my reviews
WakeWorthless Men


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

10 thoughts on “First World War Centenary

  1. Lovely post, Cleo, and what a moving poem. I can’t recommend another poem but I do strongly recommend Ralph Vaughan William’s Symphony No 3 if you enjoy orchestral music – called the Pastoral, it grew out of his own experiences in France in WW1 and is hauntingly beautiful. (Of course, you may already know it.) I shall be listening to it myself when the lights go out later.


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