Inspirational Female Poets of the Great War
Born in the Oxford village of Boars Hill in 1877, Elizabeth Daryush was the daughter of British poet laureate, Robert Bridges. Privately educated by personal tutor, Elizabeth had a privileged upbringing in Victorian and Edwardian England.
She followed in her father’s footsteps concentrating on an Edwardian style of verse, one of her critics said this of her “Elizabeth Daryush appears rather like someone who has suddenly stepped out of the wrong century to find herself at the wrong party wearing the wrong clothes. There she stands in her brocades speaking her o'ers and 'twixts and 'tweens in her very proper accent. . . . But the effect of her presence is curious. Suddenly everyone's language sounds indecorous, full of improprieties and vulgarities."
Elizabeth was a prolific poet, however, she was frequently disparaged for her style of poetry which was often critical of the upper classes and of the social injustice inflicted upon others. Her early work has been compared to that of Thomas Hardy.
Daryush has been described as “ a pioneer technical innovator, a poet of the highest dedication and seriousness…”
This is her poem Flanders Fields which I thought appropriate for Remembrance Sunday
Here the scanted daisy glows
Glorious as the carmined rose;
Here the hill-top's verdure mean
Fair is with unfading green;
Here, where sorrow still must tread,
All her graves are garlanded.
And still, O glad passer-by
Of the fields of agony,
Lower laughter's voice, and bare
Thy head in the valley where
Poppies bright and rustling wheat
Are a desert to love's feet.
Today at Cenotaphs up and down the country wreaths of poppies will be laid in Remembrance of those who have lost their lives in conflict