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I have actually a rendezvous with Death


1917

Alan Seeger 1888 - 1916


I have actually a rendezvous through Death (1917)

Alan Seeger


Oxford English Dictionary (OED) Links Off


I have actually a rendezvous with DeathAt some debated barricade,When Spring comes back with rustling shadeAnd apple-blossoms fill the air—I have actually a rendezvous via DeathWhen Spring brings earlier blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my handAnd lead me right into his dark landAnd close my eyes and also quench my breath—It may be I shall pass him still.I have a rendezvous with DeathOn some scarred slope of battered hill,When Spring comes round aacquire this yearAnd the initially meadow-flowers show up.

God knows ’twere much better to be deepPillowed in silk and also scented dvery own,Wright here Love throbs out in blissful sleep,Pulse nigh to pulse, and also breath to breath,Wbelow hushed awakenings are dear…But I’ve a rendezvous with DeathAt midnight in some flaming tvery own,When Spring trips north aget this year,And I to my pledged word am true,I shall not fail that rendezvous.


Find Out more around the language of this poem in the Oxford English Dictionary:


Performances


Freya - 2016 - I Have A Rendezvous With Death (Alan Seeger)
Freya - 2016 - I Have A Rendezvous With Death (Alan Seeger)
Rose - 2016 - I Have a Rendezvous through Death (Alan Seeger)

Explore the poem

The opening six lines of Seeger’s poem carry out a startling comparison between the life that Spring through its attractive apple blossom brings in to the people and the poet’s premonition of a meeting via Death.

In the following eight lines Seeger imagines that meeting and captures the landscape of war in referrals to “scarred” slopes and also “battered hills”. He maintains the comparison between death and also birth in the mellifluous fourteenth line as soon as “…the first meadow-flowers appear”.

Notice how vividly and also movingly Seeger writes of what might be shed through his rendezvous through fatality. The sensual pleasures of life are not ignored and also in fact are celebrated once he talks of wanting to be “…deep/ Pillowed in silk and also scented down” and the bliss of lying with a lover. However before, he has an overriding desire to confront death and also to adopt his fate through valour and integrity. For him tright here is glory in continuing to be true to his “pledged word”.

How perform you respond to the employment of iambic tetrameter in the poem and also the use of rhyme specifically in regards to the “death/breath” rhymes and also the emphatic use of a last rhyming couplet?

About Alan Seeger

Alan Seeger was an Amerideserve to who offered in the French Foreign Legion for twenty 2 months prior to dying in the time of the Battle of the Somme in 1916. He was educated at Harvard wright here T.S. Eliot was a classmate and after graduating lived the rather aimmuch less life of an idealistic intellectual and also poet in America and also then in France. When war broke out he was in London however rumelted back to France to join the Foreign Legion. He was persuaded of the just nature of the war and also felt choose many kind of of his contemporaries at the start of the war that conflict could reinvigoprice a exhausted and jaded society. He witnessed in company to the reason a opportunity to embrace a new companionship via an intrepid brotherhood of comrades. He seemed in his letters and also actions to virtually covet a glorious fatality in combat and also he did indeed make his rendezvous with fatality on the battlefield at Belloy-en-Santerre.

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His collection of poems was published posthumously in 1917. In reviewing them his previous course mate T.S. Eliot commented that they were “high flvery own, heavily decorated and also solemn” and described Seeger’s, “impeccable poetic dignity”.