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).


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40 Responses

  1. Lawrence Fray

    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

      Thank you very much for your words of appreciation, Lawrence. Dame Vera was, indeed, a great lady.

      Reply
      • David Vickery

        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 yourpoemaday@icloud.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

        David, it would be an absolute honour. Thank you very much. I will forward you an email.

      • Alex Kovnat

        I think somebody ought to write a poem in tribute to Dame Olivia Mary DeHavilland

    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      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
  2. Margaret Coats

    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

      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
  3. Rod

    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

      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
    • Julian D. Woodruff

      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

        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.

  4. Allegra Silberstein

    Love this beautiful sonnet that is such a loving tribute.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I appreciate your kind words, Allegra. I’m thrilled you enjoyed my sonnet.

      Reply
  5. Jan Darling

    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

      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
  6. Rostislav Gorchakov

    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

      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
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      David, thanking very much for reading my poem and thank you very much for your beautiful comment.

      Reply
  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    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

      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

        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

        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.

  8. David Watt

    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

      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
  9. Mike Bryant

    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

      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
  10. Dave Whippman

    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

      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
  11. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    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

      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

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