Monday, November 11, 2019

G.A. Studdert Kennedy*

G.A. Studdert Kennedy (1883―1929) is a poet who served as an army chaplain on the Western Front in World War I ― which ended 101 years ago, today. Although he was born in England, he always maintained that he was an Irishman, due to his parentage; his father being born in County Dublin, but serving as vicar of St. Mary’s, Quarry Hill, in Leeds.

During the war he was very supportive of the British war effort. He received the Military Cross ― his citation reading:

-----“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed
-----the greatest courage and disregard for his own safety in
-----attending to the wounded under heavy fire. He searched shell
-----holes for our own and enemy wounded, assisting them to the
-----dressing station, and his cheerfulness and endurance had a
-----splendid effect upon all ranks in the front line trenches,
-----which he constantly visited.”

After the war, however, he became an outspoken pacifist.


Waste of muscle, waste of brain,
Waste of patience, waste of pain,
Waste of manhood, waste of health,
Waste of beauty, waste of wealth,
Waste of blood and waste of tears,
Waste of youth’s most precious years,
Waste of ways the saints have trod,
Waste of glory,
Waste of God.

‘My Peace I Give Unto You’

Blessed are the eyes that see
-----The things that you have seen.
Blessed are the feet that walk
-----The ways where you have been.
Blessed are the eyes that see
-----The agony of God,
Blessed are the feet that tread
-----The paths His feet have trod.
Blessed are the souls that solve
-----The paradox of pain,
And find the path that, piercing it,
-----Leads through to peace again.

*This is the second Kingdom Poets post about G.A. Studdert Kennedy: first post.

Entry written by D.S. Martin. His latest poetry collection is Ampersand (2018, Cascade). His books are available through Amazon, and Wipf & Stock, including the anthologies The Turning Aside, and Adam, Eve, & the Riders of the Apocalypse.