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Vera Brittain

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by

Ellie Chen

on 27 October 2013

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Transcript of Vera Brittain

Vera Brittain
Who Is Vera Brittain?
Poem #1
Poem #2
Before the War
Born on December 29, 1893 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
Came from a wealthy family background
Had only one brother, Edward
Studied English Literature at Somerville College and Oxford University
Who is She?
Vera Brittain was a British writer who supported feminism and pacifism.

During WWI
Vera Brittain became a voluntary aid detachment (V.A.D.) nurse during the War. She worked at both the front line and a military hospital.

Her brother, Edward, and her fiance, Roland Leighton, both enlisted in the army. Two of her two close friends also enlisted. None of them returned from war.

She recorded details of her war experience in diary entries, which later contributed to Testament of Youth.




Your battle-wounds are scars upon my heart,
Received when in that grand and tragic 'show'
You played your part,
Two years ago,

And silver in the summer morning sun
I see the symbol of your courage glow --
That Cross you won
Two years ago.

Though now again you watch the shrapnel fly,
And hear the guns that daily louder grow,
As in July
Two years ago.

May you endure to lead the Last Advance
And with your men pursue the flying foe
As once in France
Two years ago.
Interpretation
It is an elegy to honour her brother, Edward, whom she was very close with. In this poem, she remembers him by visualizing him on the battlefield before his death. Vera never truly got over his death, as implied by the tone of the poem. When she died, she asked for her ashes to sprinkled on Edward's gave.
Devices Used
Perhaps (To R.A.L.)
Perhaps some day the sun will shine again,
And I shall see that still the skies are blue,
And feel once more I do not live in vain,
Although bereft of You.

Perhaps the golden meadows at my feet
Will make the sunny hours of spring seem gay,
And I shall find the white May-blossoms sweet,
Though You have passed away.

Perhaps the summer woods will shimmer bright,
And crimson roses once again be fair,
And autumn harvest fields a rich delight,
Although You are not there.

Perhaps some day I shall not shrink in pain
To see the passing of the dying year,
And listen to Christmas songs again,
Although You cannot hear.'

But though kind Time may many joys renew,
There is one greatest joy I shall not know
Again, because my heart for loss of You
Was broken, long ago.
Devices Used
Interpretation
Vera writes this poem, addressed to her late fiance, to record her thoughts and feelings after the news of his death. She talks about her pain and her attempt to move on. She also writes about the hope of happiness despite his passing.
She was most famous for her book Testament of Youth, a memoir of her experience in World War I.
Literary Work
Her first published work was Verses of a V.A.D., a collection of poetry.

She often worked with Winifred Holtby, a fellow writer and supporter of feminism and pacifism.

Most of her writing reflects her views on feminism and pacifism due her perspective on the War.
To My Brother (In Memory of July 1st, 1916)
Elegy
Second Person POV
Quatrains
ABAB rhyme scheme
Iambic rhythm
Apostrophe
Historical reference
Euphemism
Alliteration
Repetition
Ballad
Narrative
Iambic pentameter
ABAB rhyme scheme
Alliteration
Repetition
Apostrophe
Imagery
Bibliography
http://www.oucs.ox.ac.uk/ww1lit/collections/brittain

http://pw20c.mcmaster.ca/case-study/youth-experience-vera-brittain-s-work-peace-two-world-wars

http://www.biographyonline.net/poets/vera-brittain.html

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/to-my-brother-in-memory-of-july-1st-1916/

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/perhaps-to-r-a-l/

by Angela Chen
*Died March 29, 1970
Full transcript