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News > History & Politics > Sidney Keyes: War Poet

Sidney Keyes: War Poet

Sidney Arthur Kilworth Keyes (HS 35-40) wrote War Poet in 1942
Sidney Arthur Kilworth Keyes (HS 35-40)
1922 – 1943

'Sidney Keyes… potentially the finest English poet of the Second World War' — Robert Nye.

War Poet

I am the man who looked for peace and found
My own eyes barbed.
I am the man who groped for words and found
An arrow in my hand.
I am the builder whose firm walls surround
A slipping land.

When I grow sick or mad
Mock me not nor chain me:
When I reach for the wind
Cast me not down:
Though my face is a burnt book
And a wasted town.

Sidney Keyes – March 1942

Tonbridge School Register 1920-1985:
KEYES, Sidney Arthur Kilworth. 35.3-40.3. H.S.
0.8. R. Keyes, O.T. b. 1922. Sch. Prae. 40; Judd
Exhib.; Hist. Schol. Queen's Coll., Oxf., 40.
War: Q.O.R.W. Kent Regt. 42; Lt. 42. Killed in
Tunisia, 28 Apr. 43. Posthumously awarded the
Hawthornden Prize, 42.

War Poets Association biography of Sidney Keyes:

Keyes' obituary and Peter Carpenter's Tonbridgian article about Sidney can be found in the Digital Archives. Sidney Keyes, Voices About Him Sidney Keyes Obituary

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