Saturday, February 09, 2013

Winston Churchill - Poet?

Indeed. His only known poem is about to go up at auction.

From a story in the Guardian...

Around 115 years after it was written, the only known poem written by an adult Churchill has been discovered by Roy Davids, a retired manuscript dealer from Great Haseley in Oxfordshire.

Our Modern Watchwords, which was apparently inspired by Tennyson and Kipling, will go on sale at Bonham's auction house in London in the spring. Written in 1899 or 1900, when Churchill was a cornet – equivalent to today's second lieutenant – in the 4th Hussars, the 10-verse poem is a tribute to the Empire.

The author peppers the poem with the names of remote outposts defending Britain's interests around the world – many of which he would have visited as a young officer and even fought at – including Weihaiwei in China, Karochaw in Japan and Sokoto, in north-west Nigeria.

The paean to Britain's might, however, does not scale the heights of the literary efforts that marked Churchill's later life – including his Nobel Prize-winning History of the English Speaking Peoples.

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