Bête Noire: Keith Douglas


If at times my eyes are lenses
through which the brain explores
constellations of feeling
my ears yielding like swinging doors
admit princes to the corridors
into the mind, do not envy me.
I have a beast on my back.

Keith Douglas (1920-1944)

Bête Noire, 1944
The image is copyright: Mila Atkovska via Shutterstock

When I read this, I wondered whether Keith Douglas’s death might be suicide, at the young age of 24. But notice the year. Wikipedia says:

Captain Douglas returned from North Africa to England in December 1943 and took part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy on 6 June 1944. He was killed by enemy mortar fire on 9 June, while the Regiment was advancing from Bayeux.[7] The regimental chaplain buried him by a hedge, close to where he died.[8] Shortly after the war his remains were reburied at Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery (14 km south of Bayeux) in plot 1, row E, grave number 2.[1][9]

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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One Response to Bête Noire: Keith Douglas

  1. Pingback: The Knife By Keith Douglas | Renard Moreau Presents

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