Knight, Dame Laura and Jessie Pope 03
Type of Spiritual Experience
Poem by JESSIE POPE
Born (1868) in Leicester. Educated at Craven House, Leicester and North London Collegiate School. Jessie was a popular journalist and versifier. She was a regular contributor to Punch, The Daily Mail, and The Daily Express. She died in 1941. Wilfred Owen originally addressed "Dulce et Decorum Est" to her.
A Balloon Site, Coventry (1942) – shows a team of women hoisting a barrage balloon into position with the chimneys of industrial Coventry in the background surrounding the spire of Coventry Cathedral. WAAC commissioned the work as a propaganda tool to recruit women for Balloon Command, and Knight's composition succeeds in making the work appear both heroic and glamorous.
A description of the experience
The Beau Ideal
Since Rose a classic taste possessed,
It naturally follows
Her girlish fancy was obsessed
With Belvidere Apollos.
And when she dreamed about a mate,
If any hoped to suit, he
Must in his person illustrate
A type of manly beauty.
He must be physically fit,
A graceful, stalwart figure,
Of iron and elastic knit
And full of verve and vigour.
Enough! I’ve made the bias plain
That warped her heart and thrilled it.
It was a maggot of her brain,
And Germany has killed it.
To-day, the sound in wind and limb
Don’t flutter Rose one tittle.
Her maiden ardour cleaves to him
Who’s proved that he is brittle,
Whose healing cicatrices show
The colours of a prism,
Whose back is bent into a bow
By Flanders rheumatism.
The lad who troth with Rose would plight
Nor apprehend rejection,
Must be in shabby khaki dight
To compass her affection.
Who buys her an engagement ring
And finds her kind and kissing,
Must have one member in a sling
Or, preferably, missing.