Edmund Blunden


'I live still to love still things quiet and unconcerned'


Edmund Charles Blunden is buried at the Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford, Suffolk, England.

Grave of Edmund Blunden
By kind permission of Margi Blunden

During WW1 Blunden served with the Royal Sussex Regiment  and saw action at both the Somme and  Ypres.  He was awarded the military cross. Some of his finest poems such as Third Ypres and Report on Experience dealt with his life in the trenches

Like Siegfried Sassoon he survived the war but never  fully recovered from the psychological effects.

In fact, it was Siegfried Sassoon - the then literary editor of The Daily Herald who published Blunden's first collection The Waggoner in 1920 . Blunden's poetry was also inspired by the English countryside e.g. poems such as Winter: East Anglia, Forefathers and The Midnight Skaters.

However, his  most famous collection was his 1928 Undertones of War.


 Holy Trinity Church, Long Melford
(See large photo)



Through out his life Blunden did much to promote the work of other poets.  In 1920 he published a collection of poetry by John Clare - which helped to bring Clare to a wider audience. In 1931 he performed a similar service  for Wilfred Owen - ironically overshadowing  his own more restrained war poems. He also invented the term pararhyme to describe Owen's use of double consonance.

Then in 1954 he published a selection of poems by the unknown poet Ivor Gurney - another WW1 survivor - who had been committed to the City of London Mental Hospital.

From 1924-7 Blunden was Professor of English at Tokyo University. He won the Queen's medal for poetry in 1956 and in 1966 and was appointed Professor of Poetry at Oxford University.  He wrote a number of  critical works on poets such as: Shelley, Hardy, Keats, Leigh Hunt and Lamb.

The hop-poles stand in cones,
   The icy pond lurks under,
The pole-tops steeple to the thrones
   Of stars, sound gulfs of wonder;
But not the tallest there, 'tis said,
Could fathom to this pond's black bed.

from The Midnight Skaters (complete poem)

Read more of Blunden's poetry

Edmund Blunden Official Website






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