Study Guide

The Soldier Death

By Rupert Brooke


If I should die, think only this of me,
    That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England (1-3)

The speaker is not afraid of death at all. He expresses no reservations or terror about the unknown. Later in the poem, it becomes clear why this is so: death is merely the beginning of a new, more peaceful afterlife.

[…] There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed (3-4)

The speaker avoids talking about death directly. He uses "dust" instead of "corpse," and "concealed" instead of "buried." This could mean that he's afraid to talk about death too openly, or it could mean that he doesn't think of death in conventional ways.

A body of England's, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home (7-8)

After using the word dust, the speaker firmly reminds us that he's talking about a dead soldier. The word "body" makes us think of a lifeless corpse, not a human being.

    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
      Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given (10-11)

The speaker imagines death as a return home. After death, the speaker re-experiences all of his English memories. The only way soldiers will ever know the life they knew before the war is by dying and going to heaven.

This is a premium product

Tired of ads?

Join today and never see them again.

Please Wait...