The poems in the novel Death of a hero (1929) brought Richard Aldingtone fame. He wrote about World War I. This poet was inspired by his experiences in this war.
About the poet
Edward Godfree Aldington was born on July 8 1892 in Portsmouth. He was known under the name Richard Aldington. It was the financial difficulties that prevented Aldington to get a degree at the University of London. This is where he met the poetess Hilda Doolittle (who used the pen name H.D) and they god married in 1911.
In 1916, Aldington joined the British Army. He was assigned to the Royal Sussex Regiment. In 1917, he got wounded at the Western Front, from this he never fully recovered. He also suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder.
By the time he returned to England, his marriage was in a crisis. His wife gave birth to a daughter, that wasn’t his. The father was Cecil Gray, with whom she lived during the time Aldington was abroad. By the time he got home, Doolittle got romantically involved with Annie Winifred Ellerman – who used the pen name Bryher. The marriage ended in a divorce in 1938. They lived separately long before this divorce. The two of them remained friends though.
In 1928, he decided to leave England and settle in Paris. By that time, he was already friends with other writers such as T.S. Elliot. A year later his book Death of a hero was published. Inspired what he had been through during World War I. The books he would later publish, were all a success. Except for one biography about Lawrence of Arabia in 1955. In this book, he claimed that T.E. Lawrence was homosexual and that some of his actions were not all legitimate. This didn’t do much good for the reputation of Aldington. The last years of his life, he spend in France. He died on July 27 1962 in Sury-en-Vaux.
Like a gondola of green scented fruits
Drifting along the dark canals of Venice,
You, O exquisite one,
Have entered into my desolate city.
The blue smoke leaps
Like swirling clouds of birds vanishing.
So my love leaps forth toward you,
Vanishes and is renewed.
A rose-yellow moon in a pale sky
When the sunset is faint vermilion
In the mist among the tree-boughs
Art thou to me, my beloved.
A young beech tree on the edge of the forest
Stands still in the evening,
Yet shudders through all its leaves in the light air
And seems to fear the stars –
So are you still and so tremble.
The red deer are high on the mountain,
They are beyond the last pine trees.
And my desires have run with them.
The flower which the wind has shaken
Is soon filled again with rain;
So does my heart fill slowly with tears,
Until you return.