Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The sense and sensibility of Charles Sorley

I have lately been reading an anthology of English letters, great and interesting collection of marvelously different contexts and languages. Not many glaring omissions but I was very disappointed not to find there Charles Sorley's letters both before the First Word War and during it. They show such deep human understanding that is very rare in any person of his age or any age (he was 20 when killed in the battle of Loos 1915). His early poems give a promise of great talent and long, fruitful career. But in those circumstances who can tell, surviving the war might have left too deep scars for any universal poetry.

No-one can know, but I would still suspect that with his sense, his sensibility the core might have been intact and he would not have remained a prisoner of that war like so many of his poet contemporaries. I encountered him when quite young myself – and was amazed and envious: such stability and wisdom in such conditions with my own mind being so far from any stability specializing in sheer emotional foolishness and blind alleys. The contrast was painful, but Sorley’s words, his personality were a great joy to meet, in some immature way he became an early role model to me – amidst my self-inflicted suffering and isolation I aimed for that same human understanding and tolerance...

2 comments:

Känä said...

When will start discussion about Great Depression in these pages?

stockholm slender said...

Very soon I'm sure. I have been thinking about Keynes for a while which would be a logical bridge (maybe even too far...)