Hulme was killed on the Front in Flanders in 1917, four days after his thirty-fourth birthday.
“The Embankment” is a little poem he wrote about being out and alone on the Thames Embankment at night. I came across the poem years ago and have never forgotten it. This picture shows the Embankment one wet night in 1929. It is a favourite haunt of the temporarily homeless.
Once, in finesse of fiddles found I ecstasy,
In a flash of gold heels on the hard pavement.
Now see I
That warmth’s the very stuff of poesy.
Oh, God, make small
The old star-eaten blanket of the sky,
That I may fold it round me and in comfort lie.
I too have found delight, if not ecstasy, in a flash of gold heels, and I too have sat – and slept – out on the pavement in sub-zero temperatures.