About this poet

Richard Aldington was born Edward Godfree Aldington on July 8, 1892, in Hampshire, England. He studied at Dover College and London University. He became friends with Ezra Pound and was an early member of the Imagist movement, publishing the poetry collection Images Old and New (The Four Seas Company, 1916). He married the poet H. D., another important figure in Imagism, in 1913; they divorced in 1938. 

In 1916 Aldington joined the British Army and went on to serve in the Royal Sussex Regiment in France. He began publishing poems about the war soon after; in February 1918, he wrote a letter to a friend: “It may seem to you that I have been almost wantonly morbid in these war poems…. You cannot know, you cannot understand, where you are, the mentality of the soldier—the profound shattering of the nerves, the over-wrought tension, the intensity of sensation which come to him.”

He published numerous volumes of poetry, including The Complete Poems of Richard Aldington (A. Wingate, 1948), Exile, and Other Poems (G. Allen & Unwin, 1923), and Images of War (G. Allen & Unwin, 1919). He was also known for his novels, including Death of a Hero () and his biographies, most famously Lawrence of Arabia (1955).

Aldington died in France on July 27, 1962.


Selected Bibliography

Poetry
The Complete Poems of Richard Aldington (A. Wingate, 1948)
The Crystal World (W. Heinemann, 1937)
The Poems of Richard Aldington (Doubleday, 1934)
Collected Poems (Covici, Friede, 1928)
The Love of Myrrhine and Konallis, and Other Prose Poems (P. Covici, 1926)
Exile, and Other Poems (G. Allen & Unwin, 1923)
War and Love (1915–1919) (The Four Seas Company, 1919)
Images of War (G. Allen & Unwin, 1919)
Images (The Egoist, 1919)
Images Old and New (The Four Seas Company, 1916)

Prose
Introduction to Mistral (Heinemann, 1956)
Lawrence of Arabia (Collins, 1955)
Life for Life’s Sake: A Book of Reminiscences (The Viking Press, 1941)
Artifex, Sketches and Ideas (Chatto & Windus, 1935)
Women Must Work (Doubleday, 1934)
The Colonel’s Daughter (Doubleday, 1931)
Roads to Glory (Chato & Windus, 1930)
Death of a Hero (Covici, Friede, 1929)
Remy de Gourmont, A Modern Man of Letters (University of Washington, 1928)
D. H. Lawrence: An Indiscretion (University of Washington, 1927)
French Studies and Reviews (G. Allen & Unwin, 1926)
Voltaire (E. P. Dutton, 1925)
Literary Studies and Reviews (Dial Press, 1924)

Dawn

The grim dawn lightens thin bleak clouds;
In the hill clefts beyond the flooded meadows
Lies death-pale, death-still mist.

We trudge along wearily,
Heavy with lack of sleep,
Spiritless, yet with pretence of gaiety.

The sun brings crimson to the colourless sky;
Light gleams from brass and steel—
We trudge on wearily—

O God, end this bleak anguish
Soon, soon, with vivid crimson death,
End it in mist-pale sleep!

This poem is in the public domain.

This poem is in the public domain.

Richard Aldington

Richard Aldington was born in Hampshire, England, in 1892. An early member of the Imagist movement, he was the author of War and Love (1915-1919) (The Four Seas Company, 1919), Images (The Egoist, 1919), and numerous other books of poetry and prose.

by this poet

poem

Why do you always stand there shivering
Between the white stream and the road?

The people pass through the dust
On bicycles, in carts, in motor-cars;
The waggoners go by at dawn;
The lovers walk on the grass path at night.

Stir from your roots, walk, poplar!
You are

poem
One night I wandered alone from my comrades’ huts;
The grasshoppers chirped softly
In the warm misty evening;
Bracken fronds beckoned from the darkness
With exquisite frail green fingers;
The tree gods muttered affectionately about me,
And from the distance came the grumble of a kindly train.

I was so happy to
poem
                         I

Through the dark pine trunks
Silver and yellow gleam the clouds
And the sun;
The sea is faint purple.
My love, my love, I shall never reach you.

                        II

You are beautiful
As a straight red fox-glove
Among green plants;
I stretched out my hand to caress you