Home by Rupert Brooke

Rupert_Brooke.jpgWar poet Rupert Brooke describes an unsettling experience of apophenia in this 1913 poem.

I came back late and tired last night
  Into my little room,
To the long chair and the firelight
  And comfortable gloom.

But as I entered softly in
  I saw a woman there,
The line of neck and cheek and chin,
  The darkness of her hair,
The form of one I did not know
  Sitting in my chair.

I stood a moment fierce and still,
  Watching her neck and hair.
I made a step to her; and saw
  That there was no one there.

It was some trick of the firelight
  That made me see her there.
It was a chance of shade and light
  And the cushion in the chair.

Oh, all you happy over the earth,
  That night, how could I sleep?
I lay and watched the lonely gloom;
  And watched the moonlight creep
From wall to basin, round the room,
  All night I could not sleep.

Brooke seems to have been interested in the scientific investigation of anomalous experiences, as one of his poems (‘Sonnet‘), was inspired by reading the journal of the Society for Psychical Research.

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