England Past and Present

Imperial Purple - the end of the empire.   Eheu fugaces.  Considering he lived for 28 years in England , the small number of poems under this heading apart from Seascape with Edwardian Figures may seem surprising.  But most of the Nature poems are inspired by English scenes and settings.  Imperial Purple and Anomaly.

 

Seascape with Edwardian Figures: 

This extended elegy on an England passing from the period immediately before the First World War into the England of the decade following the 2nd World War, has an element about it of “tongue in cheek”. I say this because the dictionary definition of an elegy is a “song of lamentation”, while the poet’s attitude to the changes he describes is partly ironical, partly ambivalent. The setting is three seaside resorts on the North Norfolk coast, Sheringham, Cromer and Overstrand 12 or so miles from the poet’s home in Cley.  For a short period from about 1890-1914 they became the summer playground of a considerable part of English high society as well as attracting European royalty and aristocrats.  They can be compared to Newport or New London at the same period.  After World War One they ceased to be fashionable and just became seaside resorts like any others.