World War One British Poets: Brooke, Owen, Sassoon, Rosenberg and Others by Candace WardIronically, the horrors of World War One produced a splendid flowering of British verse as young poets, many of them combatants, confronted their own morality, the death of dear friends, the loss of innocence, the failure of civilization, and the madness of war itself.
This volume contains a rich selection of poems from that time by Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, and others known especially for their war poetry — as well as poems by such major poets as Robert Graves, Thomas Hardy, A. E. Housman, Robert Bridges, and Rudyard Kipling.
Included among a wealth of memorable verses are Rupert Brookes The Soldier, Wilfred Owens Anthem for Doomed Youth, In the Pink by Siegfried Sassoon, In Flanders Fields by Lieut. Col. McCrae, Robert Bridges To the United States of America, Thomas Hardys In Time of The Breaking of Nations, Robert Graves’s “A Dead Boche,” as well as works by Walter de la Mare, May Wedderburn Cannan, Ivor Gurney, Alice Meynell, and Edward Thomas.
Moving and powerful, this carefully chosen collection offers todays readers an excellent overview of the broad range of verse produced as poets responded to the carnage on the fields of Belgium and France.
Poems and Poets of the First World War
Usage terms Public Domain In his war memoir, Nothing of Importance: A Record of Eight Months at the Front , Bernard Adams compares the experience of war to a deck of cards: Spades represent the dullness, mud, weariness and sordidness. Clubs stand for another side, the humour, the cheerfulness, the jollity, and good-fellowship. In diamonds I see the glitter of excitement and adventure. Hearts are a tragic suit of agony, horror and death. And to each man the invisible dealer gives a succession of cards. In encapsulating the multifaceted nature of war, both the allure and the terror, Adams perfectly reflects the breadth of responses we find in prose narratives of the war.
More than any other conflict, the Great War inspired writers of all generations and although much outstanding prose work was also produced by such poets as.
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Wilfred Owen is considered by many to be perhaps the best war poet in English, if not world, literature. Yet, at the time of his death on November 4, , only five of his poems had been published. Thus, due to his premature death, it is clear that Wilfred Owen was not responsible for the development of his own reputation. Instead, it was through the efforts of his editors that Wilfred Owen and his poetry were not forgotten on the bloody fields of France. Day Lewis, were responsible for establishing Owen's reputation and that reputation was reaffirmed by subsequent editions. This means that in order to understand Wilfred Owen's position in English literature, one must examine the different editions of Owen's poems and the agendas of each editor.
Literature in World War I is generally thought to include poems, novels and drama; diaries, letters, and memoirs are often included in this category as well. Although the canon continues to be challenged, the texts most frequently taught in schools and universities are lyrics by Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen ; poems by Ivor Gurney , Edward Thomas , Charles Sorley , David Jones and Isaac Rosenberg are also widely anthologised. Many of the works during and about the war were written by men because of the war's intense demand on the young men of that generation; however, a number of women especially in the British tradition created literature about the war, often observing the effects of the war on soldiers, domestic spaces, and the homefront more generally. The spread of education in Britain in the decades leading up to World War I meant that British soldiers and the British public of all classes were literate. Professional and amateur authors were prolific during and after the war and found a market for their works. Literature was produced throughout the war - with women, as well as men, feeling the 'need to record their experiences'  - but it was in the late s and early s that Britain had a boom in publication of war literature. Published poets wrote over two thousand poems about and during the war.
From scathing verses on the horrors of life in the trenches to laments on the tragedy of a lost generation, the First World War inspired some of British poetry's most poignant and affecting work. Here, Ellie Cawthorne highlights five influential British writers whose lives and work were shaped by the conflict…. By Ellie Cawthorne. In the autumn of , far from the front lines of France, large crowds gathered in Birkenhead for the Welsh National Eisteddfod. However, war cast its long shadow over the festival that year. When the pseudonym of winning poet was announced at the awards ceremony, trumpets sounded and applause ensued. Yet no one stepped forward to claim the prize.