Sunday, April 25, 2010

The life that I have...

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

It's one of the only poems I have ever memorised. What a hopeless spy I would have made.

During the Second World War poems were used to encrypt coded messages. One of Britain's top cryptographers Leo Marks wrote this in 1943 and gave it to Violette Szabo a famous French agent who was later captured and killed by the Nazis.  Leo Mark's book Between Silk and Cyanide is a fascinating read.

It seemed appropriate on Anzac Day - a day shared by Australians and New Zealanders. Both my South African grandfathers went to war and fought with the Allies in the Pacific and at Tobruk. I hope we can be so lucky that our sons and even grandsons won't have to do the same.


  1. A very appropriate poem. When I read it and think about my little boys it gives me a big lump in my throat to think if we had been born at another time, they could have been the ones carrying those messages.

  2. Hi Ann, have just discovered your blog. Thanks for sharing that lovely poem and the story that went along with it..I'm an avid reader too so thanks for the introduction to a few more titles I really should put on my list...which since I started blogging is a million miles long now that I have less time to read. Most do something about that!

  3. I've never had the pleasure of reading it before! Yes, very appropriate.


Thanks for taking the time to write, Ann x


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