August 1914

August – Gold of Earth, Maud Hogarth Clay c. 1914

August 1914

What in our lives is burnt
In the fire of this?
The heart’s dear granary?
The much we shall miss?

Three lives hath one life –
Iron, honey, gold.
The gold, the honey gone –
Left is the hard and cold.

Iron are our lives
Molten right through our youth.
A burnt space through ripe fields
A fair mouth’s broken tooth.

– Isaac Rosenberg

Tom Tiddler’s Ground (Near a place called Gemmenich, 4 August 1914)
Anthony Michael Dorrell (1923–1987) 1973

Our ‘Little Contemptibles’, 1914
William Barns Wollen (1857–1936)

The First Wounded, London Hospital, August 1914 John Lavery, 1914

William Orpen; A Grave and a Mine Crater at La Boiselle, August 1917

The Parents, Woodcut 1923. Kathe Kollwitz

1 Comment

  1. Greg:

    What in our lives is burnt
    In the fire of this?

    Iron, honey, gold.

    This is perhaps my very favourite of Rosenberg’s poems. Poignant, painful and haunting.

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