Carve her name

I was going to write about amazing teenage fashion blogging (and I will …) but now for something completely different.

Violette Szabo has always been one of my top heroines of all time. And the South Bank has always been one of my top places (more so since they remodelled, planted the trees and made it look less like Occupied France). Not sure how the two go together, but it’s still fabulous to see that a bronze bust of Violette in honour of the SOE was unveiled yesterday.

Violette was supremely brave, and I do try and celebrate brave people when I write. My characters are usually brave in the face of slightly scary grown-ups, as opposed to sustained enemy fire and torture by the Gestapo, but the same principle applies. Plus, she was gorgeous. Plus, she had one of the most romantic poems ever written for her as a cipher. And I love romantic poems and ciphers and romantic poems that are ciphers best of all.

So much so, that we had it at our wedding, along with a very tricky Donne sonnet. But, like, it’s up there with Donne, y’know?

And so, courtesy of Wikipedia, and Leo Marks, who wrote it, here it is:

The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
Is yours

The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours

A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause

For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours
And yours

Some people weren’t so sure about the death bit at a wedding, but you need both halves to get the rhythm working, and I still love every word.


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