The dream of the homeland
Recently I’ve been re-reading Poem for the Day One edited by Nicholas Albery. Today’s poem is a section of Rupert Brooke‘s ‘The Old Vicarage: Grantchester‘ written in 1912 while he was on a long journey in Germany. . It starts:-
Ah God! to see the branches stir
Across the moon at Grantchester.
In this expression of homesickness he describes the beauties of rural England in detail. It sounds idyllic.
Reading it I began to wonder how much of the idealisation of homeland/motherland/fatherland is created not by those in it but by those away. I suspect that most countries have a body of nostalgic literature, often poetry, written by the exiled, the war bound or the long-time traveller.
Such idylls are very pervasive. Do they still affect the way people vote or even fight?