Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology (Oxford Worlds Classics)
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View all 3 comments. Mar 24, Cathleen Bonville rated it really liked it. Such moving works. I am not very good at understanding poetry, but these Why I read this anthology The poems collected in this book by Tim Kendall concern the epoch which interests me most in history at the moment - World War I and the fundamental changes it brought about to society at least Western culture.
I have read several books on the topic, portraying this epoch from various historical viewpoints. And works of fiction set in this era. It was time for me to try to glimpse the feelings this conflict evoked in people. Since I believe poetry to be the closest we can get to communicate emotions between each other when it comes to written art , an anthology of this kind was the next step.
Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology
My subjective opinion Now a problem looms in front of me. How do you rate and review an anthology of poetry? Since it is a collection of poetry by various authors, my subjective opinion will be of even less value than usually. Although I will give it nonetheless; I was captured by the wide range of emotions and thoughts which this conflict evoked in people, both during and after.
While reading the various poems, I soon realised I wanted to read more accounts of how it was to actually be in the trenches. The fear, anger, boredom, sadness, helplessness, or courage that filled people. Or just how the mud felt, what the food tasted like, or how the cold bit. Now after finishing this anthology, I still feel I have not read enough such accounts. My "objective" opinion So much for my subjective opinion.
Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology (Oxford World's Classics)
The closest I can come to an objective description, is to say I believe T. I found the introduction to each author informative and interesting, giving additional depth to the following poems.
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I do not know; but my insatisfaction regarding descriptions of "trench life", might be due to the fact there simply are not that many such poematic depictions. If I may venture so far as to highlight some poems I found moving. My personal favourite which I returned to several times , was "Unidentified" by Mary Broden. The common man is depicted as a soldier-symbol. While war and strife makes all pretentious "wise men" and their pompous thinking pointless. How life is reduced to the bare basics by this.
It is unfortunately too long for me to write here. I saw his round mouth's crimson deepen as it fell , Like a Sun, in his last deep hour; Watched the magnificent recession of farewell, Clouding, half gleam, half glower, And a last splendour burn the heavens of his cheek.
Tim Kendall | World War I Centenary
And in his eyes The cold stars lighting, very old and bleak, In different skies. A poem by Wilfred Owen I found movingly mysterious and full of intimate emotion. I will end this review with the most beautiful and bitter-real hymn to the dead: When you see millions of the mouthless dead Across your dreams in pale battalions go, Say not soft things as other men have said, That you'll remember.
For you need not so. Give them not praise. For, deaf, how should they know It is not curses heaped on each gashed head?
Poetry of the First World War: An Anthology (Oxford World's Classics Hardback Collection)
Nor tears. Their blind eyes see not your tears flow. Nor honour. It is easy to be dead. None wears the face you knew. Great death has made all his for evermore. By Charles Sorley. Mar 10, Larry rated it it was amazing. This collection is limited to British poetry, but it contains a meaningful introduction to the war's impact on articulate men. Take an Army of Mercenaries by A. Houseman: These, in the day when heaven was falling, The hour when earth's foundations fled, Followed their mercenary calling And took their wages and are dead. Their shoulders held the sky suspended, They stood, and earth's foundations stay; What God abandoned, these defended, And saved the sum of things for pay.
Houseman wasn't a participant, This collection is limited to British poetry, but it contains a meaningful introduction to the war's impact on articulate men.
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Houseman wasn't a participant, but his poem captures the sacrifice of the BEF in the first months of the war. There are dozens of poems as good in this collection, maybe more. It is heartbreaking to read about disillusionment. Jan 30, Michael rated it really liked it. The collected authors here lived through the war. Their poetry speaks the reality of it, the drama of it, the glory of it, the results of it.
It is a wonderful collection. It took me awhile to enter it. But once I did it was not very far from my thoughts. The images and power of the words to speak to the violence of our hearts and our nation states was dramatic. Sep 12, Jamie Dougherty rated it really liked it Shelves: i-own-this.
It wasn't just the war that changed poetry forever, it was a generation of poets. Mar 10, Keith Currie rated it it was amazing. This is a splendid anthology of poetry and lyric born of the experience of war: the selection covers those who participated as soldiers, officers and enlisted men, those who observed because of age or because of gender; thus it promotes a varied range of viewpoints and experiences, of suffering, both physical and emotional, but also of courage in all its forms.
Almost every poem I expected to read is in this volume and almost every poet. There are some pleasant surprises - I did not expect to This is a splendid anthology of poetry and lyric born of the experience of war: the selection covers those who participated as soldiers, officers and enlisted men, those who observed because of age or because of gender; thus it promotes a varied range of viewpoints and experiences, of suffering, both physical and emotional, but also of courage in all its forms.
There are some pleasant surprises - I did not expect to read Housman's Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries, as I did not realise that it explicitly applied to the First World War. Its inclusion is important, I think, in recognising the sacrifice of brave men.
Other such poems include Binyon's For the Fallen. Idealism is represented by the selection from Brooke and I was especially pleased to read Patrick Shaw Stewart's [I saw a man this morning], his only poem, written on the back fly-leaf of his copy of A Shropshire Lad, and discovered after his death in action.
The introduction is informative and interesting, the biographical synopses valuable, the notes always useful. Attention is drawn to recent studies and critical arguments, such as Elizabeth Vandiver's Stand in the Trench, Achilles. The inclusion of Music Hall and Trench songs adds perspective.
An excellent anthology, highly recommended.