Monday, 30 October 2017

A First World War poem by French poet Adrienne Blanc-Peridier

I posted a brief biography of Adrienne Blanc-Peridier on this weblog on 21st September 1915

I have translated of one of Adrienne's poems from her collection "Le Cantique de la Patrie, 1917" published by TYF, Flou-Nourrit & Cie., Paris, 1918, pp 23 – 24.

A detailed search has failed to find any copyright holder for Adrienne’s poems.

War swept across the plain
Dressed in red, her hair aflame !…
The young men followed her, every one
Leaving their girl friends all alone !…

War raced down the hillsides,
With feverish mouth and red eyes …
Heedless of the women who wept,
The men followed her every step.
Triumphant, insatiable, war
Runs thru' the fields and across the forest floor,
Her seductive voice exhorting the men
To join her in battle again and again.

Shivering, exhausted, out of breath,
Regardless of the smell of certain death,
They follow war, surrendering to her fatal powers
Eager to pick her lips' toxic flowers!

Translated by Lucy London, 11th and 12th October 2015


La guerre a passé sur la plaine
Avec sa robe rouge et ses cheveux épars !…
Les jeunes hommes l'ont suivie
Et les jeunes filles n'ont plus d'amoureux !…

La guerre a descendu le versant des collines,
La bouche fiévreuse et les yeux en feu…
Et sans voir les larmes des femmes,
Les  hommes ont couru sur ses pas.

La guerre triomphante et jamais assouvie
Court sur nos champs et sur nos bois,
Et sa voix haletante appelle
Les jeunes hommes au combat.

Tremblants, éperdus, hors d'haleine,
Ils vont, abandonnés à son pouvoir fatal ;
Ils veulent cueillir la fleur de ses lèvres
Dont le parfum donne la mort !

Adrienne Blanc-Peridier, 1915

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Mabel Goode (1872 – 1954) – British

It is always exciting to find another poet and browsing through a book recently, see left, I discovered that Mabel Goode, who kept a war diary, also wrote poetry.  On pages 160 - 161 of this wonderful book about Mabel's WW1 diary, you will find some of Mabel's First World War Poetry. 

Mabel was born on 27th October 1872 and, according to her Great-Great Nephew who edited her WW1 diary, Mabel was brought up by her Step-Mother because her parents died before her tenth birthday. 

The family lived in Germany from 1881 – 1887 and Mabel went to the Slade School of Art on her return from Germany.  During the Second World War she lived in Ulverston in the Lake District.  Ulverston was in Lancashire at that time.  Mabel died in 1954.  

"The Lengthening War: The Great War Diary of Mabel Goode" Edited by Michael Goode with a Foreword by Sir Chris Clark. Published by Pen & Sword (Barnsley, S. Yorkshire, UK, in 2016).  

I am hoping to find out more about Mabel soon.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Lily Horswill (1877 - 1944) - British

If you follow my weblog regularly, you will know that from time to time I receive messages from relatives of the poets on my list.

Actress and theatre producer Fidelis Morgan contacted me recently about her Great Aunt Lily Horswill, who is mentioned on page 174 of Catherine W. Reilly’s “English Poetry of the First World War: A Bibliography” (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 1978).

Fidelis sent me some information about her Great-Aunt, so I went on Find my Past to complete the picture:

LILLIAN EMMA HORSWILL (1877–1944) - British

Lily was born on 17th August 1877 in Tunnel Hill, Claines, Worcestershire, UK.  Her parents were William Henry Upham Horswill, a furniture salesman, and his wife Amy, nee Chatttaway.  Lily had the following siblings: Charles H., b. 1865, Herbert W., b. 1867, Edith A., b. 1871, Lizzie A., b. 1875, Florence E., b. 1881, Walter P., b. 1883 and Sydney, b.1884.

Lily’s brother Walter, who was Fidelis’s Grandfather, served in the Army during WW1 and was badly injured during the Battle of Ypres.  Fidelis knew him as a child and he never recovered from being gassed.

In 1911, the Horswill family was living at no. 15 Warburton Road, Seaforth, Lancashire and it seems that Lily was still living there in 1939. 

Lily died on 31st August 1944 at The Little Retreat, Great Leighs, Essex.

According to Catherine W. Reilly, Lily Horswill published a poem entitled “Duty’s Call” in Liverpool in 1914.  I have not been able to trace a copy of the poem and wondered if anyone could help please.