The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-24-2006, 12:12 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The Glitter Palace
Posts: 17,215
Looking for poem re Dunkirk: "The little boats of England that brought the army home

A long time ago I read a poem about the Dunkirk evacuation and the private craft from southern England that helped ferry troops back - probably over-romanticised the whole thing, but the line "the little boats of England that brought the Army home" has been running through my head.

Can't remember the title or the author or where I found it. Any Dopers able to help?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-24-2006, 01:19 PM
JeffB JeffB is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 2,738
I can't find a copy online to confirm, but it might be "The Little Boats of Britain" by Sara Carsley.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-24-2006, 01:24 PM
Das Glasperlenspiel Das Glasperlenspiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffB
I can't find a copy online to confirm, but it might be "The Little Boats of Britain" by Sara Carsley.
That's what I thought - you are probably right. I remember the poem from my Grade 5 or 6 reader. We got a lot of WW II stuff back then!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-24-2006, 11:00 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The Glitter Palace
Posts: 17,215
thanks for the replies - Das Glasperlenspiel, I'm thinking it may have been a Grade 9 reader, so that would fit with your recollection.

JeffB, how do you log onto that site? do you need to be enrolled in a university?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-25-2006, 07:28 AM
Das Glasperlenspiel Das Glasperlenspiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
I found a reference to the poet in the National Library of Canada and I work about two minutes from there. And since I have been spending many hours there doing familiy history research, I will check and see what they have in the stacks there. Wish me luck!

das Glas
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-25-2006, 07:56 AM
JeffB JeffB is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Saratoga Springs, NY
Posts: 2,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
JeffB, how do you log onto that site? do you need to be enrolled in a university?
Sorry about that. I didn't even realize you needed to log in. It lists the following information:

Code:
Author:        Sara Carsley
Nationality:   Canadian
Title:         The Little Boats of Britain (A Ballad of Dunkirk)
First Line:    On many a lazy river, in many a sparkling bay
Reference:     Flying Colours - page 9 - Roberts, Charles G. D. (ed)
The last being where it was published.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-25-2006, 10:33 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The Glitter Palace
Posts: 17,215
Thanks, JeffB. Interesting that it's from a Canadian poet. That would explain why only Das Glasperlenspiel and I seem to remember it. I was assuming from the topic that it would have been a British poem.

I'm interested to see if Das Glasperlenspiel finds it at the National Library. Must be handy to work so close to it.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-26-2006, 01:53 PM
Das Glasperlenspiel Das Glasperlenspiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
[QUOTE=I'm interested to see if Das Glasperlenspielfinds it at the National Library. Must be handy to work so close to it.[/QUOTE]

So I found it - all 9 verses of it. The notation attached to the broadsheet reads:

"The Ballad of Dunkirk - The Little Boats of Britain, written by Sasra E. Carsley of Calgary is the prize poem, chosen from one thousand and six entries, of the literary competition sponsored by The Women's Canadian Club of Toronto. It appeared in Canadian Home Journal June issue, and Saturday Night July 5 issue, and was read to a large audience of women by Mrs. A. Monro Grier, convenor of the literary competition committee, on the day the choice was declared by three distinguished judges, Mrs. W.A. Kirkwood, Dean of St. Hilda's College, Mrs. B.K. Sandwell, editor of Saturday Night, and Mr. T.A. Willgross, former Parliamentary Librarian of the Ontario Legislature."

The images this conjures up are frightening - large, sincere ladies in white gloves, sensible shoes, wartime big-shouldered suits and hats.

Do you want me to e-mail you the entire poem? They wouldn't let me photocopy it, so I had to copy it out by hand. In pencil. The dragons at the desk won't let you use a pen!

das Glas

PS: looking at this poem through the lens of an adult, it's really not that good. But I thought it was great when I was 11! BTW - it was also anthologized in "Flying Colours - An Anthology of Patriotic Verse", edited by (Sir) Charles G.D. Roberts. I wonder what other gems that contains?

I don't know whether it's a blessing or a curse to be so close to the Archives, I keep getting stuck into documents and forgetting my lunch hour is just that - ONE hour, not two or three.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-30-2012, 12:43 AM
judyj2020 judyj2020 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
dunkirk

By robert nathan

"...There was no command there was no set plan but 600 boats went out with them.. It wnds with $francis Drake sat by his side and steered him home. I learned it in school. It is still my favorite poem about Dunkirk. Victory in defeat. Judyj
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-30-2012, 03:57 PM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Not on topic but related.

Try watching the segment of Atonement which shows the protagonists on the beach at Dunkirk, and you get to hear the elegy of Dunkirk.

It is seriously moving.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10-30-2012, 04:01 PM
Lust4Life Lust4Life is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Sorry to double post, but a Territorial (reservist) batallion of the British Army Regiment of the Royal Green Jackets, covering the evacuation of Dunkirk were ordererd to fight to the last round.

They held out for 48 hours before they were overwhelmed.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.