Wednesday, 3 September 2014

May Wedderburn Cannan (1893–1973) Revisited

Your heart was with your man beside
The blue Aegean sea,
But since I went to France you brought
Roses to give to me :
So I took English roses out to France
And all that there might be.

And my man died. I am so glad
Your roses went with me.

(May Wedderburn Cannan, The Splendid Days, 1919)

I originally posted a blog all about May Wedderburn Cannan here:

I was surprised to find this very nice comment on my blog about May Wedderburn Cannan, an often forgotten War poet of the Great War – most people tend to think of the men in the trenches as War Poets, rather than the women who also served in support as close as they could get to the front line.

"Thank you for this lovely post on May. I'm her granddaughter and am setting up a website about her work. You can find it at

Best wishes


That's a wonderful site, with poetry and prose and some lovely photos of May and her family. It captures the sense of place and time of that generation very well. I'm looking forward to revisiting it as more is added.

I would recommend visiting it.

And so to finish, another of May's poems, which rather reminds me of Edward Grey's statement about the lamps in Europe all going out:

Girl's Song,

IN heaven there be many stars
For the glory of the Lord,
But one most bright which is the light
Upon my true love's sword,
To show that he always for me
Keepeth good watch and ward.

In England now few lamps there be
Since Death flies low by night,
But brave behind the lowered blind
Shall mine burn steady bright,
That he may know for him also
Burneth a kindly light.

October 1916 (In War Time, 1917)

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