Robert Laurence Binyon, CH (10 August 1869 – 10 March 1943) was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar. His most famous work, "For the Fallen", is well known for being used in Remembrance Sunday services.
Drawing of Laurence Binyon by William Strang, 1901
|Born||Robert Laurence Binyon|
10 August 1869
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
|Died||10 March 1943 (aged 73)|
Reading, Berkshire, England
|Occupation||Poet, dramatist, scholar|
|Spouse||Cicely Margaret Powell|
|Relatives||T. J. Binyon (great-nephew)|
Laurence Binyon was born in Lancaster, Lancashire, England. His parents were Frederick Binyon, a clergyman of the Church of England, and Mary Dockray. Mary's father, Robert Benson Dockray, was a main engineer of the London and Birmingham Railway. His forebears were Quakers.
Immediately after graduating in 1893, Binyon started working for the Department of Printed Books of the British Museum, writing catalogues for the museum and art monographs for himself. In 1895 his first book, Dutch Etchers of the Seventeenth Century, was published. In that same year, Binyon moved into the Museum's Department of Prints and Drawings, under Campbell Dodgson. In 1909, Binyon became its Assistant Keeper, and in 1913 he was made the Keeper of the new Sub-Department of Oriental Prints and Drawings. Around this time he played a crucial role in the formation of Modernism in London by introducing young Imagist poets such as Ezra Pound, Richard Aldington and H.D. to East Asian visual art and literature. Many of Binyon's books produced while at the Museum were influenced by his own sensibilities as a poet, although some are works of plain scholarship – such as his four-volume catalogue of all the Museum's English drawings, and his seminal catalogue of Chinese and Japanese prints.
In 1904 he married historian Cicely Margaret Powell, and the couple had three daughters. During those years, Binyon belonged to a circle of artists, as a regular patron of the Wiener Cafe of London. His fellow intellectuals there were Ezra Pound, Sir William Rothenstein, Walter Sickert, Charles Ricketts, Lucien Pissarro and Edmund Dulac.
Binyon's reputation before the First World War was such that, on the death of the Poet Laureate Alfred Austin in 1913, Binyon was among the names mentioned in the press as his likely successor (others named included Thomas Hardy, John Masefield and Rudyard Kipling; the post went to Robert Bridges).
Moved by the opening of what was then called the Great War and the already high number of casualties of the British Expeditionary Force, in 1914 Laurence Binyon wrote his "For the Fallen", with its "Ode of Remembrance" (the third and fourth or simply the fourth stanza of the poem). At the time, he was visiting the cliffs on the north Cornwall coast, either at Polzeath or at Portreath. (There is a plaque at each site to commemorate the event, though Binyon himself mentioned Polzeath in a 1939 interview. The confusion may be related to Porteath Farm being near Polzeath). The piece was published by The Times in September, when public feeling was affected by the recent Battle of the Marne.
Today Binyon's most famous poem, "For the Fallen", is often recited at Remembrance Sunday services in the UK; is an integral part of Anzac Day services in Australia and New Zealand and of 11 November Remembrance Day services in Canada. The "Ode of Remembrance" has thus been claimed as a tribute to all casualties of war, regardless of nation.
In 1915, despite being too old to enlist in the armed forces, Laurence Binyon volunteered at a British hospital for French soldiers, Hôpital Temporaire d'Arc-en-Barrois, Haute-Marne, France, working briefly as a hospital orderly. He returned in the summer of 1916 and took care of soldiers taken in from the Verdun battlefield. He wrote about his experiences in For Dauntless France (1918) and his poems, "Fetching the Wounded" and "The Distant Guns", were inspired by his hospital service in Arc-en-Barrois.
Artists Rifles, a CD audiobook published in 2004, includes a reading of "For the Fallen" by Binyon himself. The recording itself is undated and appeared on a 78 rpm disc issued in Japan. Other Great War poets heard on the CD include Siegfried Sassoon, Edmund Blunden, Robert Graves, David Jones and Edgell Rickword.
After the war, he returned to the British Museum and wrote numerous books on art; in particular on William Blake, Persian art, and Japanese art. His work on ancient Japanese and Chinese cultures offered strongly contextualised examples that inspired, among others, the poets Ezra Pound and W. B. Yeats. His work on Blake and his followers kept alive the then nearly-forgotten memory of the work of Samuel Palmer. Binyon's duality of interests continued the traditional interest of British visionary Romanticism in the rich strangeness of Mediterranean and Oriental cultures.
In 1931, his two volume Collected Poems appeared. In 1932, Binyon rose to be the Keeper of the Prints and Drawings Department, yet in 1933 he retired from the British Museum. He went to live in the country at Westridge Green, near Streatley, Berkshire (where his daughters also came to live during the Second World War). He continued writing poetry.
In 1933–1934, Binyon was appointed Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. He delivered a series of lectures on The Spirit of Man in Asian Art, which were published in 1935. Binyon continued his academic work: in May 1939 he gave the prestigious Romanes Lecture in Oxford on Art and Freedom, and in 1940 he was appointed the Byron Professor of English Literature at University of Athens. He worked there until forced to leave, narrowly escaping the German invasion of Greece in April 1941 . He was succeeded by Lord Dunsany, who held the chair in 1940–1941.
Binyon had been friends with Ezra Pound since around 1909, and in the 1930s the two became especially close; Pound affectionately called him "BinBin", and assisted Binyon with his translation of Dante. Another protégé was Arthur Waley, whom Binyon employed at the British Museum.
Between 1933 and 1943, Binyon published his acclaimed translation of Dante's Divine Comedy in an English version of terza rima, made with some editorial assistance by Ezra Pound. Its readership was dramatically increased when Paolo Milano selected it for "The Portable Dante" in Viking's Portable Library series. Binyon significantly revised his translation of all three parts for the project, and the volume went through three major editions and eight printings (while other volumes in the same series went out of print) before being replaced by the Mark Musa translation in 1981.
During the Second World War Binyon continued writing poetry including a long poem about the London Blitz, "The Burning of the Leaves", regarded by many to be his masterpiece. In 2016 Paul O'Prey edited a new selection of his poems, Poems of Two Wars, which brought together the poems written during both wars, with an introductory essay on Binyon's work that makes the case for his later poetry to be considered as his best.
He died in Dunedin Nursing Home, Bath Road, Reading, on 10 March 1943 after an operation. A funeral service was held at Trinity College Chapel, Oxford, on 13 March 1943.
There is a slate memorial in St. Mary's Church, Aldworth, where Binyon's ashes were scattered. On 11 November 1985, Binyon was among 16 Great War poets commemorated on a slate stone unveiled in Westminster Abbey's Poets' Corner. The inscription on the stone quotes a fellow Great War poet, Wilfred Owen. It reads: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."
His three daughters Helen, Margaret and Nicolete became artists. Helen Binyon (1904–1979) studied with Paul Nash and Eric Ravilious, illustrating many books for the Oxford University Press, and was also a marionettist. She later taught puppetry and published Puppetry Today (1966) and Professional Puppetry in England (1973). Margaret Binyon wrote children's books, which were illustrated by Helen. Nicolete, as Nicolete Gray, was a distinguished calligrapher and art scholar.
In 1915 Cyril Rootham set "For the Fallen" for chorus and orchestra, first performed in 1919 by the Cambridge University Musical Society conducted by the composer. Edward Elgar set to music three of Binyon's poems ("The Fourth of August", "To Women", and "For the Fallen", published within the collection "The Winnowing Fan") as The Spirit of England, Op. 80, for tenor or soprano solo, chorus and orchestra (1917).
(Most of the above were written for John Masefield's theatre).
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…For Victory is the fifth album by British death metal band Bolt Thrower. It was recorded at Sawmill studios in 1994, produced by Colin Richardson and Bolt Thrower. A limited edition contains a live CD titled Live War.
The song "…For Victory" contains a quote from Laurence Binyon poem, known as the Ode of Remembrance.1918 in literature
This article presents lists of the literary events and publications in 1918.Ariel Poems (Faber)
The Ariel Poems were two series of pamphlets that contained illustrated poems published by Faber and Gwyer and later by Faber and Faber. The first series had 38 titles published between 1927 and 1931. The second series, published in 1954, had 8 titles.Each numbered pamphlet had an illustrated cover naming the author and illustrator. Four pages were sewn inside the cover. The frontispiece had another illustration, usually multicolored. Following that page was the poem. Several authors and illustrators had multiple pamphlets.The pamphlets in the first series, in order, are as follows:
Yuletide in a Younger World by Thomas Hardy, drawings by Albert Rutherston
The Linnet's Nest by Henry Newbolt, drawings by Ralph Keene
The Wonder Night by Laurence Binyon, drawings by Barnett Freedman
Alone by Walter de la Mare, wood engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton
Gloria in Profundis by G. K. Chesterton, wood engravings by Eric Gill
The Early Whistler by Wilfred Gibson, drawings by John Nash
Nativity by Siegfried Sassoon, designs by Paul Nash
Journey of the Magi by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (August 1927)
The Chanty of the Nona, poem and drawings by Hilaire Belloc
Moss and Feather by W. H. Davies, illustrated by Sir William Nicholson
Self to Self by Walter de la Mare, wood engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton
Troy by Humbert Wolfe, drawings by Charles Ricketts
The Winter Solstice by Harold Monro, drawings by David Jones
To My Mother by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant
Popular Song by Edith Sitwell, designs by Edward Bawden
A Song for Simeon by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (September 1928)
Winter Nights, a reminiscence by Edmund Blunden, drawings by Albert Rutherston
Three Things by W. B. Yeats, drawings by Gilbert Spencer
Dark Weeping by "AE", designs by Paul Nash
A Snowdrop by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Claudia Guercio
Ubi Ecclesia by G. K. Chesterton, drawings by Diana Murphy
The Outcast by James Stephens, drawings by Althea Willoughby
Animula by T. S. Eliot, wood engravings by Gertrude Hermes (October 1929)
Inscription on a Fountain-Head by Peter Quennell, drawings by Albert Rutherston
The Grave of Arthur by G. K. Chesterton, drawings by Celia Fiennes
Elm Angel by Harold Monro, wood engravings by Eric Ravilious
In Sicily by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant
The Triumph of the Machine by D. H. Lawrence, drawings by Althea Willoughby
Marina by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (September 1930)
The Gum Trees by Roy Campbell, drawings by David Jones
News by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Barnett Freedman
A Child is Born by Henry Newbolt, drawings by Althea Willoughby
To Lucy by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Albert Rutherston
To the Red Rose by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant
Triumphal March by T. S. Eliot, drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (October 1931)
Jane Barston 1719-1746 by Edith Sitwell, drawings by R. A. Davies
Invitation To Cast Out Care by Vita Sackville-West, drawings by Graham Sutherland
Choosing A Mast by Roy Campbell, drawings by Barnett FreedmanThe pamphlets in the second series are as follows:
The Cultivation of The Christmas Tree by T. S. Eliot, drawings by David Jones
Mountains by W.H. Auden, drawings by Edward Bawden
Christmas Eve by C. Day-Lewis, drawings by Edward Ardizzone
Nativity by Roy Campbell, drawings by James Sellars
The Other Wing by Louis MacNeice, drawings by Michael Ayrton
Sirmione Peninsula by Stephen Sender, drawings by Lynton Lamb
Prometheus by Edwin Muir, drawings by John Piper
The Winnowing Dream by Walter de la Mare, drawings by Robin JaquesBinyon
Binyon may refer to :
Claude Binyon (1905-1978) was a screenwriter and director.
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) was an English poet, dramatist, and art scholar.
T. J. Binyon (1936-2004) was an English scholar and crime writer.Ernest A. Cole
Ernest Alfred Cole (1890–1979) was a British sculptor and printmaker born in Greenwich, London. He studied at Goldsmiths' College School of Art and the Royal College of Art and in Italy and Paris. While at the RCA his work came to the attention of Selwyn Image and Charles Ricketts, the latter becoming a great supporter of Cole's work which he compared to that of Alfred Stevens. In 1913 a life size figure of John the Baptist by Cole was erected at Holland Park.He was commissioned in 1914 by Ralph Knott to contribute twelve figure groups for the London County Hall, of which he completed five and a half before enlisting for military service in the Artists Rifles in 1916. He then served in France in 1917 as a second lieutenant in the 4th Reserve York and Lancaster Regiment before being transferred to military intelligence. After World War I Cole resumed his work, but Knott was dissatisfied with the work, and terminated his contract in 1921 with only six groups completed. Additional sculptures for County Hall were provided by Alfred Frank Hardiman in the late 1920s. Cole's work aroused some controversy at its unveiling, although he was still supported by Ricketts, Image and Laurence Binyon.While in the United States on military intelligence during 1917–18, Cole met his wife, Laurie Manly (d.1957).From 1921 to 1924, Cole continued his studies in New York, Italy and Germany before settling in Kingston, Kent. In 1924 he briefly succeeded Francis Derwent Wood as Professor of Sculpture at the Royal College of Art, but left after a few months. Afterwards, he and his wife lived reclusively in Kingston in a house which Cole had commissioned, claiming it was the first steel-frame bungalow to have been built. At the outbreak of World War II the Coles were briefly imprisoned under suspicion of being Fascist sympathists, due to Cole's subscription to Il Popolo d'Italia, and his wife apparently an admirer of and correspondent with Benito Mussolini.Cole was reported as having destroyed much of his work soon after completion.Francis R. Pryor
Francis Robert "Frank" Pryor (30 March 1862 – 4 December 1937) was an English playwright.Pryor was the youngest son of Robert Pryor of High Elms, Hertfordshire and his wife Elizabeth Caroline née Wyrley-Birch.He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge.He was the author, jointly with Lizzie Allen Harker, of the 1914 comedy play Marigold, which was turned into a 1938 film Marigold. Despite working on a number of plays however, Marigold was his only success.He was also a director of Allsopp's Brewery, and an Underwriter at Lloyd's of London.
An obituary by Laurence Binyon was published in The Times. He never married.Helen Binyon
Helen Francesca Mary Binyon (9 December 1904 – 1979) was a British artist and author. She was also a watercolour painter, an illustrator and a puppeteer.Hôpital Temporaire d'Arc-en-Barrois
Hôpital Temporaire d'Arc-en-Barrois was an emergency evacuation hospital serving the French 3rd Army Corps during World War I. It was organised and staffed by British volunteers and served French soldiers.Indian Students' Union and Hostel
The Indian Students’ Union and Hostel was founded in 1920 (by the Indian National Council of YMCA’s) to provide housing and social facilities for Indian students in London. Key individuals who assisted were Edwin Bevan, Emily Kinnaird and K. T. Paul, and Laurence Binyon gave the inaugural address.Ralph Tubbs designed the current building in the early 1950s.Manmohan Ghose
Manmohan Ghose (1869 – 4 January 1924) was an Indian poet and one of the first from India to write poetry in English. He was a brother of Sri Aurobindo.New Polzeath
New Polzeath (Cornish: Polsegh Nowyth, meaning new Polzeath) is a coastal settlement immediately north-east of Polzeath in north Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is situated approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) north-northwest of Wadebridge at grid reference SW 935 794.The main street in New Polzeath is Atlantic Terrace which faces across the bay. The terrace was built in 1898. The area of New Polzeath inland of the terrace was developed later. An estate of holiday homes was built in the last few years. The National Trust owns land to the west and north of New Polzeath and this curtails further development.
New Polzeath has access to Polzeath beach at low water; there is also access to Pentireglaze beach, a smaller beach.
The road to New Polzeath connects with the road into Polzeath over a mile east of the villages so although the places are contiguous, driving between them means a 2-mile trip (1mile if small lane is taken past Lundynant camp site). Alternatively the coast path links the two places - about 400 yards.
Just beyond the Point, facing Rumps Point, is a plaque commemorating the place where Laurence Binyon, in 1914, composed his famous poem For the Fallen incorporating the Ode of Remembrance.Newdigate Prize
Sir Roger Newdigate's Prize, more commonly the Newdigate Prize, is awarded to students of the University of Oxford for the Best Composition in English verse by an undergraduate who has been admitted to Oxford within the previous four years. It was founded in 1806 as a memorial to Sir Roger Newdigate (1719–1806). The winning poem is announced at Encaenia. Instructions are published as follows: "The length of the poem is not to exceed 300 lines. The metre is not restricted to heroic couplets, but dramatic form of composition is not allowed."
The first winner was John Wilson ("Christopher North"). Notable winners have included Robert Stephen Hawker, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, Laurence Binyon, Oscar Wilde, John Buchan, John Addington Symonds, James Fenton, P. M. Hubbard, and Alan Hollinghurst.
The parallel award given at the University of Cambridge is the Chancellor's Gold Medal.Nicolete Gray
Nicolete Gray (sometimes Nicolette Gray) (20 July 1911–8 June 1997) was an English art scholar and exponent and scholar of calligraphy. She was the youngest daughter of the poet, dramatist and art scholar Laurence Binyon and his wife, writer, editor and translator Cicely Margaret Pryor Powell. In 1933, she married Basil Gray (1904–1989), with whom she had five children, two sons and three daughters.She attended St Paul's School where she won a scholarship to Lady Margaret Hall at Oxford to read History in 1929.In 1936 she curated the touring exhibition Abstract and Concrete, the first showing of abstract art, and of the work of Mondrian, in England.Her books include Nineteenth century ornamented types and title pages (Faber & Faber 1938; 2nd edition, as Nineteenth century ornamented typefaces, 1976) and A History of Lettering (Phaidon, 1976).
She died in London on 8 June 1997.Palgrave's Golden Treasury
The Golden Treasury of English Songs and Lyrics is a popular anthology of English poetry, originally selected for publication by Francis Turner Palgrave in 1861. It was considerably revised, with input from Tennyson, about three decades later. Palgrave excluded all poems by poets then still alive.
The book continues to be published in regular new editions; still under Palgrave's name. These reproduce Palgrave's selections and notes, but usually include a supplement of more recent poems. Christopher Ricks in 1991 produced a scholarly edition of the original Treasury, along with an account of its evolution from 1861 to 1891, with inclusions and exclusions.Pentire Head
Pentire Head (Cornish: Penn Tir, meaning "headland") is a headland and peninsula on the Atlantic coast in North Cornwall, England, UK and is about one mile square. The headland projects north-west with Pentire Point at its north-west corner and The Rumps promontory at its north-east corner.Poems of Today
Poems of Today was a series of anthologies of poetry, almost all Anglo-Irish, produced by the English Association.T. J. Binyon
Timothy John Binyon (18 February 1936 – 7 October 2004) was an English scholar and crime writer. He was a great-nephew of the poet Laurence Binyon.The Rumps
The Rumps (Cornish: Din Pentir, meaning fort at Pentire) (grid reference SW 934 810) is a twin-headland promontory at the north-east corner of Pentire Head in north Cornwall, United Kingdom.
The promontory is formed from hard basaltic rock (see also Geology of Cornwall) and projects north into the Atlantic Ocean. Its headlands lie east-to-west. A small offshore island named The Mouls lies off the eastern headland; the western headland is named Rumps Point.
Access to The Rumps is via the South West Coast Path from Polzeath or by an inland public footpath from the car park at Pentire Farm. The entire Pentire headland, including The Rumps, is under the stewardship of the National Trust. Sightseeing boat tours regularly sail around The Rumps from the nearby port of Padstow.They Shall Not Grow Old
They Shall Not Grow Old is a 2018 documentary film directed and produced by Peter Jackson. The film was created using original footage of World War I from the Imperial War Museum's archives, most of it previously unseen, alongside audio from BBC and IWM interviews of British servicemen who fought in the conflict. Most of the footage has been colourised and transformed with modern production techniques, with the addition of sound effects and voice acting to be more evocative and feel closer to the soldiers' actual experiences.
It is Jackson's first documentary as director, although he directed the mockumentary Forgotten Silver in 1995, and produced the West Memphis Three documentary West of Memphis in 2012. Jackson, whose grandfather (to whom the film is dedicated) fought in the war, intended for the film to be an immersive experience of "what it was like to be a soldier" rather than a story or a recount of events; the crew reviewed 600 hours of interviews from 200 veterans, and 100 hours of original film footage to make the film. The title was inspired by the line "They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old" from the 1914 poem "For the Fallen" by Laurence Binyon, famous for being used in the Ode of Remembrance.
They Shall Not Grow Old premiered simultaneously at the BFI London Film Festival and in selected theaters in the UK on 16 October 2018, before airing on BBC Two on 11 November 2018 (the hundredth anniversary of the Armistice of 11 November 1918); it received a limited US release on 17 December. Following its box office success, the film will receive a wide theatrical release in 2019. It was acclaimed by critics for its restoration work, immersive atmosphere, and portrayal of war, and earned a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.