Poetry of the First World War : An Anthology, Paperback

Poetry of the First World War : An Anthology Paperback

Edited by Tim Kendall

Part of the Oxford World's Classics series

4 out of 5 (1 rating)


'What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?' The First World War produced an extraordinary flowering of poetic talent, from poets whose words commemorate the conflict as enduringly as monuments in stone. Their poems have come to express the feelings of a nation about the horrors and aftermath of war. This new anthology provides a definitive record of the achievements of the Great War poets. As well as offering generous selections from the celebrated soldier-poets, including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, and Ivor Gurney, it also incorporates less well-known writing by civilian and women poets. Music hall and trench songs provide a further lyrical perspective on the War.

The work of each poet is prefaced with a biographical account that sets the poems in their historical context. In addition, Tim Kendall's introduction charts the history of the war poets' reception and challenges prevailing myths about their progress from idealism to bitterness.

ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.




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I don't know the period well enough to judge the choice of poets, but this seems like an excellent anthology as an introduction to and source book of English speaking World War I poets. The book provides very helpful introductions to each of the poets, setting their work in the context of their lives and wartime experiences. In a nice touch, and surely helpfully for a social or literary historian, the anthology includes a number of music hall and trench songs. Not surprisingly, some of the poems are still powerful, while others have not weathered so well, or perhaps were not impressive at the time.

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