T. E. Hulme’s War Poem: ‘Trenches: St Eloi’

Another memory worth archiving.

Interesting Literature

In this week’s Dispatches from The Secret Library, Dr Oliver Tearle celebrates the poet and thinker who died 100 years ago this week

On 28 September 1917, T. E. Hulme was killed in action in Oostduinkerke in Flanders. Hulme’s death, as Robert Ferguson records in his biography, The Short Sharp Life of T. E. Hulme, was particularly brutal: he suffered a direct hit from a large shell which literally blew him to pieces. What was left of him was buried in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium where he is described in the war graves records as simply ‘one of the war poets’.

In some ways, this is a decidedly inapt description of Hulme. His entire poetic output was slim – including verse fragments it stretches to no more than 20 pages – and he wrote all of his poetry in the years preceding the outbreak of the First World War in…

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