Sunday, June 12, 2016

Poets of World War I--Volume II



On November 11, 1985 in Poet's Corner Westminster Abbey, Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate, unveiled a memorial stone commemorating poets of World War One.


Earlier this year the library was highlighting 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).  Above the Dreamless Dead takes poems from WWI poets and has different comic authors and artists interpret these poems in their own way.  I was hooked!
  The following are books about WWI poetry and literature:

A Corner of a Foreign Field: the Illustrated Poetry of the First World War

Great Poets of World War I: Poetry from the Great War--John Stallworthy

The Great War and Modern Memory: the Illustrated Edition--Paul Fussell

In Flanders Fields: 100 Years: Writing on War, Loss and Remembrance--edited by Amanda Betts (eBook)

Long Shadow: the Legacies of the Great War in the 20th Century--David Reynolds

The New Oxford Book of War Poetry--edited by Jon Stallworthy

Poets of World War I: Rupert Brooke & Siegfried Sassoon

Poets of World War I: Wilfred Owen & Isaac Rosenberg

Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road--a trilogy by Pat Barker

Some Desperate Glory: the First World War the Poets Knew--Max Egremont

Tolkien and the Great War: the Threshold of Middle Earth--John Garth

The War Poets--edited by Oscar Williams

If you are interested further, then read the biographies of the poets that follow. 


Francis Edward Ledwidge, 1887-1917--he was an Irish war poet from County Meath.  Sometimes known as the "poet of the blackbirds", he was killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele.



John McCrae, 1872-1918--born in Canada, he first fought in the artillery, then became a doctor.  He died of pneumonia and his poem In Flanders Field was one of the most famous of the war, written during the 2nd Battle of Ypres.



Wilfred E. S. Owen, 1893-1918--born in Oswestry, England, he is widely accepted as the greatest writer of war poetry in the English language.  He met Siegfried Sassoon in an Edinburgh hospital.  He was killed near Ors just seven days before the end of the war.



Isaac Rosenberg, 1890-1918--born in Bristol, England he was an artist, engraver, and poet before he enlisted in 1915.  His Poems from the Trenches are admired and praised.  He was killed near the town of Fampoux after a night patrol.



Siegfried Lorraine Sassoon, 1886-1967--born in Kent, England, he was the first of the war poets to volunteer.  He was friends with Robert Graves and mentored Wilfred Owen.  He was wounded, won the Military Cross, and then became an editor after the war.  He is second only to Owen as a war poet.


Alan Seeger, 1888-1916--born in New York, he was educated at Harvard and in Paris.  He joined the French Foreign Legion and was killed at Belloy-en-Santerre on the fourth day of the Battle of the Somme.




Charles Hamilton Sorley, 1895-1915--born in Aberdeen, Scotland he loved Germany and hated the idea of the war.  He enlisted in the Army, was promoted to Captain, and was killed in the Battle of Loos.  Favorite of Robert Graves.



Edward Thomas, 1878-1917--born in London, he was already a prolific writer before the war.  His friend Robert Frost encouraged him to write poetry and he wrote 144 poems between 1914 and 1916.  He was killed at the Battle of Arras.



Arthur Graeme West, 1891-1917--born in Norfolk, England he enlisted in the Army in 1915.  He was killed by a sniper at Bapaume.  His war diary, The Diary of a Dead Officer, which contained his poetry, was published in 1919.

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