Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Poets of World War I--Volume I

Last month the library highlighted our Graphic Novel collection and staff was encouraged to try a new or interesting comic to broaden our reading skills. I came across some historical titles about World War One and read several.  These really opened my eyes to a world-wide conflict that I wasn't very familiar with and also introduced me to a new kind of graphic novel (new to me at least).  One book takes poems from WWI poets and has different comic authors and artists interpret these poems in their own way.  I was hooked!  So, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about World War One poets and this is what I came up with.  The following are graphic novels about WWI and WWI poetry so check them out.  If you are interested further, then read the biographies of some well known poets that follow.  

Charley's War: 2 June 1916-1 August 1916--Pat Mills and Joe Colquhoun

The Harlem Hellfighters--Max Brooks and Caanan White

Snoopy vs the Red Baron--Charles M. Schulz

Next month we will highlight books about the poets and their poetry.

Vera Brittain, 1893-1970--born in Newcastle under Lyme, England she served as a nurse in England, France, and Malta.  Her Testament of Youth is one of the outstanding biographies of the War.  She was a pacifist and feminist and lectured prolifically in Britain, Canada, and the United States.

Rupert C. Brooke, 1887-1915--was a Georgian poet born at Rugby, England.  He joined the Navy and died of blood poisoning after a mosquito bite, on his way to Gallipoli.  He is buried on the Greek Island of Skyros.

Eleanor Farjeon, 1881-1965--she was born in London and was a well known author of children's stories.  She was close friends with Helen and Edward Thomas.  Her poem Now That You, Too is about saying goodbye to Edward for the last time.

Wilfrid Wilson Gibson, 1878-1962--a Georgian poet, he is associated with the War but never served abroad.  His poems are told from the viewpoint of ordinary soldiers and their experiences.  He was also a playwright.

Robert Von Ranke Graves, 1895-1985--born in London, his mother was German.  He was friends with Sassoon, Nichols, and Owen and enlisted at age 19.  He was invalided out of the front with major lung injuries and shell shock.  He was an Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1961-1966.

Julian Grenfell, 1888-1915--born in London, he joined the Army in 1910.  His poem Into Battle is said to be the most anthologized of WWI.  He died of shrapnel wounds and his poem and death notice were published one day apart.

Ivor Gurney, 1890-1937--born in Gloucester, England, he was a poet and composer before the War.  He volunteered and was gassed, wounded and returned to Britain.  He suffered from mental illness but continued to write poetry even after he was committed.  He died of tuberculosis at age 47.

Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928--born at Higher-Bockhampton, England, he is best known as a classical novelist.  His war poems had a profound influence on other war poets such as Sassoon.  He was a staunch supporter of the War until it was over.

Rudyard and Jack Kipling
Rudyard Kipling, 1865-1936--born in Bombay, this Nobel Prize winner is best known for his children's literature.  He favored re-armament before the War but was devastated when his only son Jack, was killed in the Battle of the Loos, in September 1915.

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