Rupert Brooke (1887-1915), stitched portrait

Rupert finished

Framed, finished hand stitched portrait of Rupert Brooke.

I have today finished my portrait of Rupert Brooke, an English poet, who died during the First World War. He is famous for writing five War Sonnets, including The Soldier and I have hand stitched a section of this poem around the map of the World, as British soldiers died and were buried across the World.

If I should die, think only this of me:

That there’s some corner of a foreign field

That is forever England…”

I have also chosen to include a section of an earlier poem also in this portrait. The poem is called The Beginning, a poem which I have always found moving. Below you can see a close-up of Rupert’s tie, which I hand stitched the poem onto.

Rupert tie close-up

Detail from the poem ‘The Beginning’, hand stitched poetry.

Within the portrait, there are elements of symbolism: the olive leaves to represent the olive grove where Rupert was buried in Skyros; the lilac flowers and leaves which play part of the setting in The Old Vicarage, Grantchester; hollyhocks were found in a photograph of Rupert whilst he was convalescing and the yellow hibiscus flowers symbolise the poem Tiare Tahiti.

Rupert Brooke flowers

Hollyhocks and hibiscus flowers.

The portrait is now to be framed and I have started to plan my portrait of Wilfred Owen, as I aim to create a series of portraits of First World War Poets. I am looking forward to working on his portrait as he spent many years living in Shrewsbury, where I come from and it will be interesting to research his background as well as read again through his poems.

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