Fun Facts Friday: Laurence Binyon

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Laurence Binyon (10 August, 1869 – 10 March, 1943) was a poet, dramatist and art scholar from England.

Books by Laurence Binyon*
Books by Laurence Binyon*

  1. Binyon won the Newdigate Prize for poetry in 1891 – he was still studying at Trinity College, Oxford at the time.
  2. After graduation in 1893, Mr. Binyon got a job at the Department of Printed Books of the British Museum. He was writing catalogues.
  3. His wife, Cicely Margaret Powell was a historian. The couple had three daughters.
  4. Even though he was too old to server in World War I, the poet volunteered at a British hospital for French soldiers.
  5. After the war ended, Mr. Binyon returned to the British Museum and published several books on art.
  6. After retiring from the museum, Mr. Binyon continued doing academic work including a Professor or Poetry sting at Harvard University, giving lectures in Oxford and being appointed the Byron Professor of English Literature at the University of Athens.
  7. During the years 1933 – 1943, Mr. Binyon published a translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy to rave reviews.
  8. The poet wrote The Burning of the Leaves, a long poem about the London Blitz during World War II. For many, this poem is regarded as his masterpiece.
  9. Before he passed away in a nursing home in Reading, he was working on a three part Arthurian trilogy, he never got to finish his work and the first part was published posthumously.
  10. For the Fallen, Mr. Binyon’s most known work is still being used for Remembrance Sunday services, and an essential reading at Anzac Day services in Australia and New Zealand, as well as 11 November Remembrance Day services in Canada.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.

Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.

They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,

They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,

We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;

They sit no more at familiar tables of home;

They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;

They sleep beyond England’s foam

Books by Laurence Binyon*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

 

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