It’s a poem that used to be included in high school English textbooks and anthologies. It was a favorite poem of President John F. Kennedy. It became something of a national sensation, once America entered World War I. The poem is “I Have a Rendezvous with Death.”
The poet was an American, born in New York, and raised in both New York and Mexico. He was a roommate of T.S. Eliot at Harvard (Eliot was two years ahead of him). After graduating from Harvard, he drifted to Greenwich Village in New York City (where any American serious about becoming a poet went) and then to Paris. When World War I broke out, he joined the French Foreign Legion, part of the foreign brigade fighting for France. He died at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916 and was buried in France. The poet is Alan Seeger.
In War Poet: The Life of Alan Seeger and His Rendezvous with Death, author, producer, and historical consultant Michael Hilltells Seeger’s story.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.
Top photograph: the young Alan Seeger.