That's a Very Odd Name

Ways to Roam. It's an odd name. You kinda get it. . .it has something to do with travel. But why that particular wording?

The inspiration comes from a poem called The Solider by Rupert Brooke, a famous English war poet. He wrote it in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War, and the original manuscript is kept at King’s College, Cambridge. I will go and see it one day.

Rupert Brooke died in 1915.

Rupert Brooke, 1913

It’s a sad poem. It’s about a young man facing death. But it’s also profoundly loving and patriotic about his homeland, and it has always resonated with me. I studied it at school, and it’s deeply embedded in my memories of England.

When I started this blog, I wanted a name that was quintessentially English, but also reflected the concept of foreign soil. The Solider was the first thing I thought of.

So, here it is, in all its brief, glorious fullness.

The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is for ever England. There shall be

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,

Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam;

A body of England’s, breathing English air,

Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

 

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,

A pulse in the eternal mind, no less

Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;

Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;

And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,

In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

That’s beautiful. Thank you, Rupert Brooke.