Paul Keegan | 6 December 2011
On 11 November 1985 in Poets’ Corner Ted Hughes, the Poet Laureate, unveiled a memorial stone commemorating poets of the First World War – some of whom remain unnamed, and sixteen of whom are mentioned by name: including Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Ivor Gurney and Edward Thomas.
Ted Hughes is now to be commemorated in the Abbey, unusually soon after his death in 1998. It is not always so – Shakespeare was not honoured with a monument for 125 years; Byron was not commemorated for 145 years. Buried in the poet’s corner of the Abbey – or thereabouts – are Edmund Spenser (1599), followed by Dryden, Tennyson, Browning, as well as Samuel Johnson, Dickens, Kipling and Hardy. Others who are not buried there but remembered with memorials include Shelley and Blake (who rests at Bunhill Fields, along with other notorious dissenters like Bunyan and Defoe), as well as Kipling, Auden and Eliot.
An early reminder that on October 27 Anne Fletcher will lead a discussion on the Poetry of the First World War.