A Poem in Tribute to Dame Vera Lynn (1917-2020), by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society June 18, 2020 Beauty, Culture, Music, Poetry, Readings, Video 40 Comments Some Sunny Day A tribute to Dame Vera Lynn who died today, June 18, 2020 (aged 103). She was the British Forces’ Sweetheart who sang to the soldiers (including the poet’s grandfather) during World War II, such songs as “We’ll Meet Again.” by Susan Jarvis Bryant Birds of blue soar over cliffs of white On songs of love and life and liberty. The voice of home and hope has taken flight To join the realm where every soul is free… While here on Earth we wander into war Ignoring omens etched in history— Lest we forget, a term that holds no store For tongues that taint the truth with sophistry. Yet some still know the treasures we hold dear, This Forces’ Sweetheart brought to one and all, In strains that sang of blue-skies, highs and cheer And Dover’s shining, sea-sprayed welcome call. Dame Vera, from my heart I’d like to say— I know we’ll meet again some sunny day. Susan Jarvis Bryant is a church secretary and poet whose homeland is Kent, England. She is now an American citizen living on the coastal plains of Texas. Susan has poetry published in the UK webzine, Lighten Up On Line, The Daily Mail, and Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets). NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 40 Responses Lawrence Fray June 18, 2020 This is a thoughtful poem that catches the highlights of Dame Vera’s life, and a fitting tribute to a great lady. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 Thank you very much for your words of appreciation, Lawrence. Dame Vera was, indeed, a great lady. Reply David Vickery June 20, 2020 Dear Susan Just a quick note to say that I enjoyed your tribute poem to Dame Vera Lynn. Would it be possible for me to read it for inclusion on my YouTube channel YourPoemADay. The channel was set up principally for poems about lockdown but has expanded to include other interests and events. Here in the UK, I am a voice artist and BBC tv announcer. Please let me know at email@example.com. Poems also get posted daily on my Facebook page and should you have fellow poets who you think would also be interested in having their poem read, please pass on my details. Best Wishes from South London, David Vickery. Susan Jarvis Bryant June 20, 2020 David, it would be an absolute honour. Thank you very much. I will forward you an email. Alex Kovnat July 29, 2020 I think somebody ought to write a poem in tribute to Dame Olivia Mary DeHavilland Joe Tessitore June 18, 2020 You brought tears to my eyes. Well-done, Susan. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 Thank you very much, Joe. I will admit to shedding a few tears when I heard the news upon waking this morning. It really feels like the end of an era – an era where we all stood with each other in solidarity and there was hope for our future. Let’s pray those days return…. soon. Reply Margaret Coats June 18, 2020 Susan, a lovely song to send after Dame Vera, and beautifully written so quickly after she passed away! I had never heard of her, and thus you have performed the poet’s office of evoking memory even where it didn’t exist before. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 Margaret, what a beautiful comment! It’s wonderful to hear that you looked this revered lady up and read a little of her history. Thank you very much for going the extra mile to understand the reason behind my words. It means the world. Reply Rod June 18, 2020 A lovely tribute to a truly wonderful lady Susan ….. and so swiftly composed! Congratulations I have passed through the village of Ditching where Dame Vera lived many times….. it’s just outside Brighton. She was revered by so many. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 Thank you, Rod. Dame Vera was most certainly a wonderful lady, and I know you appreciate her gifts to our troops and their families having come from her corner of the globe. I simply had to write something for her… a little rushed, but hey, she certainly deserves a poetic nod. Reply Peter Hartley June 18, 2020 You’ve done it again. Brilliant!!! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 Thank you very much, Peter. Reply Julian D. Woodruff June 19, 2020 Thanks, Ms. Bryant. I’m ashamed to admit I know the song only from it’s ironic use in the movie Dr. Strangelove. I admire your “Lest we forget …” line, too. It’s astonishing and distressing to consider, from our vantage point, that it has been ~85 years since Cole Porter exclaimed, “The world has gone mad today …” The voice of Dame Vera Lynn and the lyric she sang may still be the best popular expression of hope. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 19, 2020 Julian, thank you very much for your thoughtful comment. I don’t think Dame Vera was very well known in America and I’m headed straight for Dr. Strangelove to listen with a grin. If Cole Porter had to deal with the insanity of today’s world, I’m sure his entire career may have been over before it even started. Thank goodness for SCP. Allegra Silberstein June 18, 2020 Love this beautiful sonnet that is such a loving tribute. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 I appreciate your kind words, Allegra. I’m thrilled you enjoyed my sonnet. Reply Jan Darling June 18, 2020 A lovely tribute Susan to a wonderful woman. Her contribution to history is being remembered several times daily in Australia with a few nostalgic minutes of her singing The White Cliffs of Dover to an audience of thousands of troops. I can smell the sea and hear the waves. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 18, 2020 Dear Jan, thank you for your lovely words. I’m glad you enjoyed my humble offering to a magnificent lady. I grew up with her songs playing on my grandparent’s record player as they waltzed around the room in delight. Their love and appreciation of her was contagious. My grandfather (who fought in WWII) never cried, until two years after my grandmother died and a singer came to the home he was in to treat the residents to an afternoon of song. “We’ll Meet Again” had him in tears – so sad. I have imagined my grandparents and Dame Vera singing, dancing, and surrounded by bluebirds today. I honestly think they would despair at the globe’s current situation. Reply Daniel Byers June 19, 2020 Well done. Thank you. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 19, 2020 Thank you for your appreciation, Daniel. Reply Rostislav Gorchakov June 19, 2020 Thank you with all my heart! Now I am enjoying my very old age here Down Under, yet I do remember quite well the huge after-war black market in my half-destroyed native Leningrad, where Vera Lynn’s 78rpm records were much more popular (and, alas, much more expensive) than any other voices, be they the allies’ or the trophy ones – Zara Leander, Doris Day, Marlene Dietrich etc. I was never rich enough to buy such a luxury then, but decades later, in the nineties, I’ve got a rare luck to own a lot of her albums, while working over my book about the Allied Arctic convoys to the Northern Soviet ports. As I understood from many interviews, Vera Lynn was an eternal V-day beacon for many veteran seamen, both the British and the Russian, of the Navy and of the Merchant Marine… Her LPs and CDs were never manufactured or sold legally in the USSR, but here in Australia I’m so happy to widen my collection regularly with more and more records of Dame Lynn, God bless her really great memory. Well, as your lines most expressively say “Yet some still know the treasures we hold dear, This Forces’ Sweetheart brought to one and all” – exactly so, many thanks again! Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 19, 2020 What a heart touching, informative and beautiful story. Thank you very much for sharing it. I am so glad you got widen your collection with more and more records from Dame Vera. It really seems as if she bestowed her gift upon “one and all” judging by the comments on this page, such was the nature of this courageous, kind and talented lady. May her voice bring you many years of happiness to come. Reply Rob Crisell June 19, 2020 An elegant, touching piece. Thanks, Susan. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 19, 2020 Thank you very much, Rob. Reply David Paul Behrens June 19, 2020 There could be a long list of words to describe this poem, but I will just say it is simply beautiful. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 19, 2020 David, thanking very much for reading my poem and thank you very much for your beautiful comment. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 20, 2020 This is an example of just how bad the British MSM has become. Who on earth would have thought that Dame Vera Lynn’s good name could be used as a weapon to beat down free speech and thought? Times are grim. “Toxic Nostalgia”, indeed. How utterly, insidiously ridiculous! https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/jun/18/well-meet-again-vera-lynn-pop-masterpiece-second-world-war “Toxic Nostalgia” The death of dear Dame Vera Lynn is cause for tasteless tabloid spin; The Guardian deems her demise pure poison in nostalgic eyes. Each soul who raises up her name is beaten down with headline shame. Each eulogistic thought or word is jingoistic trash that’s blurred by toxic wistfulness, no less, but I will never acquiesce. I stand by each poetic line – Dame Vera Lynn was our sunshine. Reply Joseph S. Salemi June 20, 2020 What’s really toxic are vermin Luke Turner and Stephen Moss, and the left-wing MSM rag that they write for. My apologies to your husband. Reply Mike Bryant June 20, 2020 No apologies needed, Dr. Salemi. I am in full agreement that those individuals, along with the majority of the MSM, are the biggest problem we face. Without truth in reporting we are doomed. In fact, calling them vermin is an insult to rats. That, along with all your observations, is a well-aimed takedown of those who are taking down our freedom. I still think that calling half of the electorate vermin, or even deplorables, is not politically expedient, as Hillary learned. Susan Jarvis Bryant June 20, 2020 Absolutely, Dr. Salemi. It seems nothing is sacred. Everything is politicized and weaponized to make fine, well-intentioned people look like bigoted idiots. What a sorry state of affairs. David Watt June 20, 2020 Susan, you have captured the essence of Dame Vera Lyn’s uplifting spirit, and reminded us that words can provide hope in dark times. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 20, 2020 David, thank you for reading my poem and for the kind comment. This wonderful lady was indeed a beacon of hope in dark times. I think we’re all in need of a Dame Vera now. Reply Mike Bryant June 20, 2020 As an American, I am familiar with Vera Lynn’s defining song, however I did not know how important she was to the British. This is a wonderful tribute to a remarkable woman. Thanks for bringing her loveliness to light. Rest In Peace, Vera Lynn. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 20, 2020 Thank you for your lovely comment, biggest fan. Thank you too for putting up with me singing about bluebirds, the white cliffs of Dover, and love ever after for the last two days too. As you well know, my voice is no match for the great Dame Vera. Reply Dave Whippman June 23, 2020 From a fellow Brit, thanks for this poem. I guess it’s a question of time before someone from BLM or Momentum demands Dane Vera be erased from history as she supported Churchill. Well she deserves monuments, and your piece can be one of them. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant June 23, 2020 Thank you kindly for your lovely words on my tribute, Dave, and thank you too for your spot on observations on the evil and ignorance of our times. Apparently, Churchill has the word “racist” sprayed on his monument. If the rioting idiots think Churchill’s a racist, they should familiarize themselves with the heinous atrocities of the guy he beat – a lesson in racism if ever there was one. Reply Rod July 29, 2020 Alex I agree someone should write a poem for Ms de Havilland …..but maybe not ask her sister! https://ew.com/movies/olivia-de-havilland-joan-fontaine-fued-timeline/ Susan Jarvis Bryant July 30, 2020 Alex and Rod, you are inspiring me to immortalize this powerhouse of an actress and woman in poetry. Rod, what an amazing story. Who would have thought that sibling rivalry could reach such venomous levels. It makes the spats I had with my brother pale into insignificance! Reply Rod July 30, 2020 Hi Susan yes I was shocked to read that article too! Just goes to show that “all that glisters is not gold”. Shakespeare was right ….as was Enoch Powell ! Reply Leave a Reply to Lawrence Fray Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.