‘Forgotten’ female poet of first world war to be honoured at armistice centenary

Mary Borden’s passionate sonnet was addressed to a British soldier with whom she had an affair while running a field hospital at the battle of the Somme

A love poem written from the frontline of the Somme by the “great forgotten voice of the first world war”, the American author, heiress, suffragette and nurse Mary Borden, will form the heart of an event at the Tower of London to mark the centenary of Armistice Day.

Borden’s poem, the third in a sequence entitled Sonnets to a Soldier, was written for a young British officer with whom she had an affair while running a field hospital during the first world war. It will be the basis for a choral work by the artist and composer Mira Calix, accompanying a light show that will fill the Tower of London moat from 4-11 November with thousands of individual flames, in the build-up to ...