Sunday 13 July 2014

Sunday War Poet...

Jessie Pope

1868 - 1941


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.


Jessie Pope was a poet and journalist. She is best known for her patriotic motivational poetry
which was published in the Daily Mail newspaper during WW1.

Pope was widely published during the war, apart from newspaper publication producing three volumes: Jessie Pope's War Poems (1915), More War Poems (1915) and Simple Rhymes for Stirring Times (1916)



  1. Oh Jo that is beautiful and so clever to rhyme the knitting pattern with the words. I love WW1 poetry but have never heard of any female writers of it. Thanks for introducing me to Jessie
    Gill x

    1. You're welcome Gill . Female war poets are sadly underrated. Thanks for looking :)

  2. I am stealing this lovely, lovely peice of work for my own blog. Thank you for finding it, Josie.

    1. You're very welcome Susan. I'm an avid knitter, as you know, and this one just struck a chord with me, all that love and uncertainty in every knitted stitch.

  3. What a brilliant find, a female war poet which is so powerful. It is effortless to see the woman by the fire knitting and worrying simultaneously.


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.