After a lengthy pause, I am returning to the project of sketching portraits of the War Poets of The Great War. It’s been 3 years (!) since I did my sketch of Robert Graves, but I’m back with a portrait of Edmund Blunden, whom I featured on the blog once before. This time I’m including one of his other poems but please do follow the link to the previous Blunden post to read Thiepval Wood and the explanation of it.
Here is my sketch and the photo I used for reference (via Wikipedia).
Les Halles d’Ypres by Edmund Blunden
A tangle of iron rods and spluttered beams,
On brickwork past the skill of a mason to mend:
A wall with a bright blue poster—odd as dreams
Is the city’s latter end.
A shapeless obelisk looms Saint Martin’s spire,
Now a lean aiming-mark for the German guns;
And the Cloth Hall crouches beside, disfigured with fire,
The glory of Flanders once.
Only the four square tower still bears the trace
Of beauty that was, and strong embattled age,
And gilded ceremonies and pride of place—
Before this senseless rage.
And still you may see (below the noon serene,
The mysterious, changeless vault of sharp blue light),
The pigeons come to the tower, and flaunt and preen,
And flicker in playful flight.