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The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

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Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; poetry by women writing from the home front; and the anonymous lyrics of soldiers' songs. Arranged thematically, the selections take the reader through the war's stages, from conscription to its aftermath, and offer a blend of voices that is both unique and profoundly moving.


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Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; poetry by women writing from the home front; and the anonymous lyrics of soldiers' songs. Arranged thematically, the selections take the reader through the war's stages, from conscription to its aftermath, and offer a blend of voices that is both unique and profoundly moving.

30 review for The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

  1. 4 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    My first read of this book of poetry was purely academically driven and that, as I've discovered in retrospect, has left me feeling nothing but a short wind blowing through a barren wasteland for poetry. Since leaving all academia behind, except via my own volition, I have found a delight in poetry I never knew existed. Previously I was confused at the layout of this book and I retain that confusion now. Although the poetry is put in to categories, they don't seem to feel as if they should exist. My first read of this book of poetry was purely academically driven and that, as I've discovered in retrospect, has left me feeling nothing but a short wind blowing through a barren wasteland for poetry. Since leaving all academia behind, except via my own volition, I have found a delight in poetry I never knew existed. Previously I was confused at the layout of this book and I retain that confusion now. Although the poetry is put in to categories, they don't seem to feel as if they should exist. It runs in order of how the War panned out, yes, but that is as far as it allows. There is no contents page to let you know even where those of this order begins and ends and the introduction is tiresome. The poetry itself, of course, is accessible and rather transcends the giving of stars. It acts as history as much as long prose does, though there are those poems that I did not feel with my heart as much as others. Some that were almost terribly written-only because the author was not a great poet. The poetry by women is probably one of the most important parts of this book and I think they should have been collated altogether, as opposed to how it is, chronologically. What else can you say about poetry that describes human atrocity? Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Pinterest | Shop | Etsy

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nigeyb

    Some very interesting information in the introduction that I hadn't realised. It's all quite obvious in retrospect but it was still a series of lightbulb moments for me so I'll make reference to it. The reason why there were hundreds of thousands of poems written and published during World War One was because: - poetry was for most of Edwardian society, a part of everyday life; - The media was also almost wholly print-based (cinema was still very much in its infancy); - Victorian and Edwardian edu Some very interesting information in the introduction that I hadn't realised. It's all quite obvious in retrospect but it was still a series of lightbulb moments for me so I'll make reference to it. The reason why there were hundreds of thousands of poems written and published during World War One was because: - poetry was for most of Edwardian society, a part of everyday life; - The media was also almost wholly print-based (cinema was still very much in its infancy); - Victorian and Edwardian educational reforms resulted in increased literacy; - the army which Britain sent to fight was the most widely and deeply educated in her history. I find it very hard to imagine an era when poetry was so much a part of day-to-day life. Although I have never learnt the skill of appreciating poetry, as I read through a succession of these poems, and triggered by certain words or phrases, I started to get images of a grim, kaleidoscopic mix of lice, blood, death, patriotic songs, mad, futility, despair, absurdity, sickness, fear etc. It proved to be a powerful and moving experience. As I was reading this book, I was also reading Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves. Sometimes the two books worked in tandem. Robert Graves describes the horror of The Battle of Loos and there - in this volume - are poems inspired by Loos. One very small but moving moment was reading a poem written by Rudyard Kipling. When he actively encouraged his young son John to go to war he was expecting triumph and heroism. John died in the First World War, at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, at age 18. After his son's death, Kipling wrote... If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied. An important document of how World War One was experienced by a wide range of articulate and thoughtful people that brings the experience vividly to life.

  3. 4 out of 5

    dana

    everyday for the past few weeks i've gone out into the backyard to sit in the grass, drink some iced coffee, and read this book. sometimes i'd tear through dozens of poems in a single go, other times just a handful, glancing up every few lines to admire the daffodils and duck as a bumblebee went tumbling by. this is a book best read in a warm and kindly place, trust me - the poems littering its pages will pull and tear at your heartstrings until they come to pieces in your hands. war, death, lone everyday for the past few weeks i've gone out into the backyard to sit in the grass, drink some iced coffee, and read this book. sometimes i'd tear through dozens of poems in a single go, other times just a handful, glancing up every few lines to admire the daffodils and duck as a bumblebee went tumbling by. this is a book best read in a warm and kindly place, trust me - the poems littering its pages will pull and tear at your heartstrings until they come to pieces in your hands. war, death, loneliness, grief, loss... each of them in every word, and between every line. you will come to know these writers intimately: rupert brooke, the idealist; robert graves, sharp-tongued but weary; siegfried sassoon, indefatigable; wilfred owen, unflinching; charles sorley, the bright-eyed darling of the trench poets; vera brittain, the nurse whose heart encompassed the world entire. and leagues of others. the sweat and the grime and the sorrow and the hope and the misty light of the dawn are crusted onto every word in this book — you feel like you're right there with them, sunk in the mud, nudging your mate in the ribs, giving a wan smile despite it all. lord, do i love this book. looking at it, you can tell: its spine is worn, it's bruised and blue all over from stanzas underlined in crooked ink and smudges from my thumb, every one of sorley's poems are dog-eared, grass stains and errant drops of melted iced coffee all over. it's just one of those books. the kind that sits on your shelf and vibrates, glows, because it knows it's loved. because it can't wait to be in your hands, your kindly, familiar hands, and read all over again. light many lamps and gather round his bed. lend him your eyes, warm blood, and will to live. speak to him; rouse him; you may save him yet. he's young; hated war; how should he die when cruel old campaigners win safe through? but death replied: 'i choose him,' so he went, and there was silence in the summer night; silence and safety; and the veils of sleep. then, far away, the thudding of the guns. — siegfried sassoon

  4. 4 out of 5

    J.M. Hushour

    As a fan of both poetry and World War I, I was not a little disappointed by this collection. Honestly, most of the poems here are not very good. Never a fan of rhyming poems or strict literalism, I maybe should've known better. These are almost stiflingly thematic and while some good poets are represented here, it's not their best work that's represented here. Plus, it's all British poets, which doesn't seem quite right since there were other countries involved in the war as far as I can recall. As a fan of both poetry and World War I, I was not a little disappointed by this collection. Honestly, most of the poems here are not very good. Never a fan of rhyming poems or strict literalism, I maybe should've known better. These are almost stiflingly thematic and while some good poets are represented here, it's not their best work that's represented here. Plus, it's all British poets, which doesn't seem quite right since there were other countries involved in the war as far as I can recall...I mean, I wasn't there.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Candace

    Not my usual reading, but I really enjoyed it! This anthology contains poetry that was written during WWI or soon after, the poets all having experienced some aspect of the war. Because the poetry was written during that era, it has poetry forms that were popular during that time, many poems made up of quatrains and some sonnets. I enjoy these forms better than some of the more modern forms used today. It made for easier reading for me, while I was still challenged and moved by the subject matte Not my usual reading, but I really enjoyed it! This anthology contains poetry that was written during WWI or soon after, the poets all having experienced some aspect of the war. Because the poetry was written during that era, it has poetry forms that were popular during that time, many poems made up of quatrains and some sonnets. I enjoy these forms better than some of the more modern forms used today. It made for easier reading for me, while I was still challenged and moved by the subject matter of the poems. This arrangement is good for someone not experienced in poetry because I know other readers were bothered by the fact of publication dates being hard to find (they are in the back of the book! ) or that there should have been more poems by a certain poet. I was not such a specialist to care for either of those things. The anthology is arranged in five sections from " I.Your Country Needs You " which covered everything from responses to the war, recruitment, and training to section" V. Peace " which covers the end of the war and it's aftermath. The poems covered a wide variety of perspectives and issues. It was thought-provoking and not the depressive downer I thought it would be. I started at the beginning and read through the sections; the benefit to this being that you feel as though you experience these emotions and feelings in the poems from the beginning of the war to the end. I've been a lover seeing her soldier off to war, I have listened as God hears prayers from both sides of the war asking Him for the same things, And I have watched a soldier wonder if he can just drag his fellow farmer/soldier in the sun so that it will it bring him back to life like it has every morning to plant. They were beautiful.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

    This book is pretty awful. The organization is impossible to figure out. The editing is lousy, and the driving force of the introduction seems to be to track how anthologies over the years have defined the poetry of the first world war. There isn't a table of contents that lists the poems! There is no way of finding poems by author, only a title/first line index. And they aren't dated. So... thanks a lot for thematically organizing the poems into "Before the War" or "Behind the Lines" or "In the This book is pretty awful. The organization is impossible to figure out. The editing is lousy, and the driving force of the introduction seems to be to track how anthologies over the years have defined the poetry of the first world war. There isn't a table of contents that lists the poems! There is no way of finding poems by author, only a title/first line index. And they aren't dated. So... thanks a lot for thematically organizing the poems into "Before the War" or "Behind the Lines" or "In the Trenches" but seriously, difficult to use. Crap volume.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Val

    There are some good poems, some poor poems, some rough poems and some I loved in this book. Poetry was much more part of life in 1914 and was a much more natural way for people to express their thoughts and feelings than it is now. The poems are arranged thematically, not chronologically or by author, but you can read them in any order you feel like. I dipped into the book over a period of about three months.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Helene

    Lovely collection of poems!

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    Overall, a very good way to submerge yourself into the Trench Poets, especially if you really only know of two poets. Positive: Selection - Editors chose really great poems for this collections. I also learned about some poets I haven't heard of before. Introduction - I seem to be one of the few people to like the introduction. It explains the impact anthologies have had on the trench poets and problems that have come from that. Negative: Dates - I only wish that the editors had attached publication Overall, a very good way to submerge yourself into the Trench Poets, especially if you really only know of two poets. Positive: Selection - Editors chose really great poems for this collections. I also learned about some poets I haven't heard of before. Introduction - I seem to be one of the few people to like the introduction. It explains the impact anthologies have had on the trench poets and problems that have come from that. Negative: Dates - I only wish that the editors had attached publication dates along with each poem. Organization - While the organization didn't really bother me, the collection was very disorganized. Editing - I think it was a terrible idea to have two poems share the same page; come on, it's not like you're saving on production costs or saving trees!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    it's so hard to review a collection of poems, without writing a review for every single poem in it (which is more than a few) there were some i loved, some i didn't, but most of all, interestingly so, my favourite is the first one in the prologue. brilliant collection with loads of heartfelt, inspirational poetry ^_^ it's so hard to review a collection of poems, without writing a review for every single poem in it (which is more than a few) there were some i loved, some i didn't, but most of all, interestingly so, my favourite is the first one in the prologue. brilliant collection with loads of heartfelt, inspirational poetry ^_^

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ade Couper

    Remembrance Sunday....there is no other option than this. Read it & weep. The writing is magnificent, with both poems that are internationally famous (Wilfred Owen's stuff), to lesser known pieces ("August 1914" by John Masefield, for instance). This isn't a very structured review- but that's probably down to the impact of these pieces. Remembrance Sunday....there is no other option than this. Read it & weep. The writing is magnificent, with both poems that are internationally famous (Wilfred Owen's stuff), to lesser known pieces ("August 1914" by John Masefield, for instance). This isn't a very structured review- but that's probably down to the impact of these pieces.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lysergius

    Interesting collection of WWI poetry covering most of the well known poets, Owen, Sasson, Gurney, Graves, Brooke etc. and some lesser known. Comprehensive notes and short biographies make this a useful introduction to the poetry of the Great War.

  13. 4 out of 5

    E. G.

    Introduction Acknowledgements A Note on the Text Prelude --On the idle hill of summer, A. E. Housman 1. Your Country Needs You 'Let the foul Scene proceed' --Channel Firing, Thomas Hardy --The Eve of War, Geoffrey Faber --On Receiving the First News of the War, Isaac Rosenberg --The Marionettes, Walter de la Mare --August, 1914, John Masefield --1914: Peace, Rupert Brooke --Happy is England Now, John Freeman --'For All We Have and Are', Rudyard Kipling --This is no case of petty Right or Wrong, Edward Introduction Acknowledgements A Note on the Text Prelude --On the idle hill of summer, A. E. Housman 1. Your Country Needs You 'Let the foul Scene proceed' --Channel Firing, Thomas Hardy --The Eve of War, Geoffrey Faber --On Receiving the First News of the War, Isaac Rosenberg --The Marionettes, Walter de la Mare --August, 1914, John Masefield --1914: Peace, Rupert Brooke --Happy is England Now, John Freeman --'For All We Have and Are', Rudyard Kipling --This is no case of petty Right or Wrong, Edward Thomas --To Germany, Charles Hamilton Sorley --The Poets are Waiting, Harold Monro --The Dilemma, J. C. Squire 'Who's for the khaki suit' --The Trumpet, Edward Thomas --The Call, Jessie Pope --Recruiting, E. A. Mackintosh --Soldier: Twentieth Century, Isaac Rosenberg --Youth in Arms I, Harold Monro --'I don't want to be a soldier', Soldiers' song --The Conscript, Wilfrid Gibson --Rondeau of a Conscientious Objector, D. H. Lawrence --1914: Safety, Rupert Brooke --'Now that you too must shortly go the way', Eleanor Farjeon In Training --The Kiss, Siegfried Sassoon --Arms and the Boy, Wilfred Owen --'All the hills and vales along', Charles Hamilton Sorley --'We are Fred Karno's army', Soldiers' song --Song of the Dark Ages, Francis Brett Young --Sonnets 1917: Servitude, Ivor Gurney --In Barracks, Siegfried Sassoon --The Last Post, Robert Graves --In Training, Edward Shanks --Youth in Arms II: Soldier, Harold Monro --'Men Who March Away' (Song of the Soldiers), Thomas Hardy --Marching Men, Marjorie Pickthall --The Send-off, Wilfred Owen --Fragment, Rupert Brooke 2. Somewhere in France In Trenches --First Time In, Ivor Gurney --Break of Day in the Trenches, Isaac Rosenberg --'Bombed last night', Soldiers' song --Breakfast, Wilfrid Gibson --In the Trenches, Richard Aldington --Winter Warfare, Edgell Rickword --Futility, Wilfred Owen --Exposure, Wilfred Owen --'We're here because we're here', Soldiers' song --Poem. Abbreviated from the Conversation of Mr. T. E. H., Ezra Pound --Illusions, Edmund Blunden --The Silent One, Ivor Gurney --Moonrise over Battlefield, Edgell Rickword --The Redeemer, Siegfried Sassoon --Serenade, Ivor Gurney Behind the Lines --Returning, We Hear The Larks, Isaac Rosenberg --After War, Ivor Gurney --Grotesque, Frederic Manning --Louse Hunting, Isaac Rosenberg --At Senlis Once, Edmund Blunden --Crucifix Corner, Ivor Gurney --Vlamertinghe: Passing the Chateau, July, 1917, Edmund Blunden --Dead Cow Farm, Robert Graves --The Sower (Eastern France), Laurence Binyon --August, 1918 (In a French Village), Maurice Baring --'Therefore is the name of it called Babel', Osbert Sitwell --War, Lesley Coulson Comrades of War --Canadians, Ivor Gurney --Banishment, Siegfried Sassoon --Woodbine Willie, G. A. Studdert Kennedy --Apologia pro Poemate Meo, Wilfred Owen --My Company, Herbert Read --Before the Battle, Martin Armstrong --Nameless Men, Edward Shillito --Greater Love, Wilfred Owen --In Memoriam Private D. Sutherland killed in Action in the German Trench, May 16, 1916, and the Others who Died, E. A. Mackintosh --To his Love, Ivor Gurney --Trench Poets, Edgell Rickword 3. Action Rendezvous with Death --Before Action, W. N. Hodgson --Into Battle, Julian Grenfell --Lights Out, Edward Thomas --'I have a rendezvous with Death', Alan Seeger --Two Sonnets, Charles Hamilton Sorley --1914: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke --The Mother, May Herschel-Clark --'I tracked a dead man down a trench', W. S. S. Lyon --Ballad of the Three Spectres, Ivor Gurney --The Question, Wilfrid Gibson --The Soldier Addresses His Body, Edgell Rickword --The Day's March, Robert Nichols Battle --Eve of Assault: Infantry Going Down to Trenches, Robert Nichols --Headquarters, Gilbert Frankau --Bombardment, D. H. Lawrence --The Shell, H. Smalley Sarson --Bombardment, Richard Aldington --On Somme, Ivor Gurney --Before the Charge, Patrick MacGill --It's a Queer Time, Robert Graves --The Face, Frederic Manning --Gethsemane, Rudyard Kipling --Anthem for Doomed Youth, Wilfred Owen --The Navigators, W. J. Turner --Spring Offensive, Wilfred Owen --Counter-Attack, Siegfried Sassoon --Youth in Arms III: Retreat, Harold Monro Aftermath --Back to Rest, W. N. Hodgson --Dulce et Decorum est, Wilfred Owen --Field Ambulance in Retreat, May Sinclair --A Memory, Margaret Sackville --Dead Man's Dump, Isaac Rosenberg --Youth in Arms IV: Carrion, Harold Monro --A Dead Boche, Robert Graves --Soliloquy II, Richard Aldington --Butchers and Tombs, Ivor Gurney --A Private, Edward Thomas --The Volunteer, Herbert Asquith --In Flanders Fields, John McCrae --1914: The Dead, Rupert Brooke --1914: The Dead, Rupert Brooke --'When you see millions of the mouthless dead', Charles Hamilton Sorley --Strange Meeting, Wilfred Owen --Prisoners, F. W. Harvey --His Mate, Wilfrid Gibson --Epitaphs: The Coward, Rudyard Kipling --The Deserter, Gilbert Frankau --My Boy Jack, Rudyard Kipling --Easter Monday, Eleanor Farjeon 4. Blighty Going Back --'I Want to go home', Soldiers' song --If We Return (Rondeau), F. W. Harvey --Blighty, Ivor Gurney --War Girls, Jessie Pope --Home Service, Geoffrey Faber --The Survivor Comes Home, Robert Graves --Sick Leave, Siegfried Sassoon --Reserve, Richard Aldington --Wife and Country, Gilbert Frankau --Girl to Soldier on Leave, Isaac Rosenberg --The Pavement, Francis Brett Young --Not to Keep, Robert Frost --Going Back, D. H. Lawrence The Other War --'I wore a tunic', Soldiers' song --'Blighters', Siegfried Sassoon --Ragtime, Wilfrid Gibson --Ragtime, Osbert Sitwell --The Admonition: To Betsey, Helen Parry Eden --Air-Raid, Wilfrid Gibson --Zeppelins, Nancy Cunard --'Education', Pauline Barrington --Socks, Jessie Pope --A War Film, Theresa Hooley --The War Films, Sir Henry Newbolt --The Dancers (During a Great Battle, 1916), Edith Sitwell --Epitaphs: A Son, Rudyard Kipling --'I looked up from my writing', Thomas Hardy --Picnic July 1917, Rose Macaulay --As the Team's Head-Brass, Edward Thomas --The Farmer, 1917, Fredegond Shove --May, 1915, Charlotte Mew Lucky Blighters --'They', Siegfried Sassoon --Portrait of a Coward, Ivor Gurney --In A Soldiers' Hospital I: Pluck, Eva Dobell --In A Soldiers' Hospital II: Gramophone Tunes, Eva Dobell --Hospital Sanctuary, Vera Brittain --Convalescence, Amy Lowell --Smile, Smile, Smile, Wilfred Owen --The Beau Ideal, Jessie Pope --The Veteran, Margaret Postgate Cole --Repression of War Experience, Siegfried Sassoon --A Child's Nightmare, Robert Graves --Mental Cases, Wilfred Owen --The Death-Bed, Siegfried Sassoon 5. Peace Everyone Sang --'When this bloody war is over', Soldiers' song --Preparations for Victory, Edmund Blunden --'Après la guerre finie', Soldiers' song --Everyone Sang, Siegfried Sassoon --Peace Celebration, Osbert Sitwell --Paris, November 11, 1918, May Wedderburn Cannan --It Is Near Toussaints, Ivor Gurney --Two Fusiliers, Robert Graves --Report on Experience, Edmund Blunden --Dead and Buried, G. A. Studdert Kennedy The Dead and the Living --For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon --The Cenotaph, Charlotte Mew --The Silence, Sir John Adcock --Armistice Day, 1921, Edward Shanks --'Out of the Mouths of Babes -', F. W. Harvey --Memorial Tablet (Great War), Siegfried Sassoon --Elegy in a Country Churchyard, G. K. Chesterton --Epitaphs: Common Form, Rudyard Kipling --Epitaph on an Army of Mercenaries, A. E. Housman --On Passing the New Menin Gate, Siegfried Sassoon --Hugh Selwyn Mauberley: V, Ezra Pound --War and Peace, Edgell Rickword --A Generation (1917), J. C. Squire --Disabled, Wilfred Owen --Strange Hells, Ivor Gurney --The Superfluous Woman, Vera Brittain --Men Fade Like Rocks, J. W. Turner 'Have you forgotten yet?' --High Wood, Philip Johnstone --Picture-Show, Siegfried Sassoon --Festubert, 1916, Edmund Blunden --Lamplight, May Wedderburn Cannan --Recalling War, Robert Graves --War Books, Ivor Gurney --Aftermath, Siegfried Sassoon --If ye Forget, G. A. Studdert Kennedy --The Midnight Skaters, Edmund Blunden --Ancient History, Siegfried Sassoon --The Next War, Osbert Sitwell --The War Generation: Ave, Vera Brittain --To a Conscript of 1940, Herbert Read Coda --Ancre Sunshine, Edmund Blunden Notes A Glossary of the Western Front Biographies Further Reading Poem Acknowledgements Index of Titles and First Lines

  14. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Li

    This book is essentially an anthology of poetry. George Walter really did a nice job of combining the poems into a single book. It basically entails some poetry about WWI. I think that this may not be that popular but the book itself was decent. I do not really read poetry books that often and I thought that this one was okay. It of course was the not the greatest poetry book I had read, but it was a decent read. The poets in the book seem to use a lot of poetic skills, like rhyme scheme and syl This book is essentially an anthology of poetry. George Walter really did a nice job of combining the poems into a single book. It basically entails some poetry about WWI. I think that this may not be that popular but the book itself was decent. I do not really read poetry books that often and I thought that this one was okay. It of course was the not the greatest poetry book I had read, but it was a decent read. The poets in the book seem to use a lot of poetic skills, like rhyme scheme and syllable counting, to craft each and every poem. Once in a while, there would be a metaphor and other figurative language to help build a deeper sense for each poem. Walter actually took other poet's poems and combined them into an anthology of poetry. Each poem's style is somewhat different from other poems within the anthology and it really shows an appreciation for WWI. Overall, I thought that this book deserves a 3.5 out of 5 stars due to decent poetry and some use of figurative language.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Wow. Can't believe it's taken me 18 months to read this. But, I did set as my goal to read just one or two poems per night, to really appreciate them. That is what sometimes made progress slow: most of these poems were difficult to read, not because of their language, but because of their content. I found quite a few to love which I had never read before, some from poets I'd never heard of. And some from familiar names. I think this will become a new habit; to read poetry before going to sleep - Wow. Can't believe it's taken me 18 months to read this. But, I did set as my goal to read just one or two poems per night, to really appreciate them. That is what sometimes made progress slow: most of these poems were difficult to read, not because of their language, but because of their content. I found quite a few to love which I had never read before, some from poets I'd never heard of. And some from familiar names. I think this will become a new habit; to read poetry before going to sleep - but perhaps I'll choose a lighter collection next.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Zainab

    First world war poetry is unmatched in its poignancy. In the poems from this anthology, language soars and transcends itself. The way language and prosody are used is certainly something to aspire to.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ester Díaz Morillo

    Esta antología me ha abierto los ojos de diferentes maneras. La introducción ha sido muy instructiva y me ha encantado la manera de dividir los poemas en diferentes secciones, pues así puedes comparar las distintas experiencias sobre un mismo hecho.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    Same title, different book, from the one selected and edited by Jon Silkin in 1979. Poems in this edition, originally titled In Flanders Field: Poetry of the First World War, are arranged in a thematic chronology—approximately: war’s start, recruitment, and training (Your Country Needs You), life in the trenches (Somewhere in France), battle, wounds and recovery (Action), military leave and the home front (Blighty), war’s end and war’s remembrance (Peace). All the poets are British Commonwealth Same title, different book, from the one selected and edited by Jon Silkin in 1979. Poems in this edition, originally titled In Flanders Field: Poetry of the First World War, are arranged in a thematic chronology—approximately: war’s start, recruitment, and training (Your Country Needs You), life in the trenches (Somewhere in France), battle, wounds and recovery (Action), military leave and the home front (Blighty), war’s end and war’s remembrance (Peace). All the poets are British Commonwealth or American, largely the former. Most are men but there are more than a half-dozen women poets included. Popular songs, particularly as adapted for the war, are included as well. The effect is more experiential in terms of mood and more varied in terms of perspective (minus the perspectives of non-English speaking allies and German foes) and more of a narrative than a poet by poet structure. The same major poets are included with multiple poems: Wilfrid Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, Edmund Blunden, Ivor Gurney, Edward Thomas, Herbert Read, and Robert Graves. The composite narrative effect in this collection adds a level of power and immediacy to the reading experience here. The argument for one collection over the other is moot. Both are essential in their own way, one for its broader perspective and one for its narrative pull.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Malvina

    I read this for a short day course. The anthology has a terrific introduction by George Walter, with suggestions about how to approach, read, and generally view WWI poetry. Then come the poems themselves, grouped into 5 general sections (with smaller sub-sections): Your Country Needs You, Somewhere in France, Rendezvous with Death, Blighty, and Peace. At the back of the book are helpful notes on the poems, poet biographies (not just poets from Great Britain, by the way, but international), furth I read this for a short day course. The anthology has a terrific introduction by George Walter, with suggestions about how to approach, read, and generally view WWI poetry. Then come the poems themselves, grouped into 5 general sections (with smaller sub-sections): Your Country Needs You, Somewhere in France, Rendezvous with Death, Blighty, and Peace. At the back of the book are helpful notes on the poems, poet biographies (not just poets from Great Britain, by the way, but international), further reading suggestions, etc. So, along with the stunning poetry, the amazing and ironic and heart-breaking and gut-turning and beautiful poetry, it is a fabulous volume. You cannot fail to be moved. Great value for less than $AU10! I will pop this on my keeper shelf.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Borrowed this as an ebook from the library. The poems are marvelous, of course, and I liked the selection - especially the fact that women poets were included. The forward was forgettable & the lack of a table of contents was just bizarre. Penguin - get your act together!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Angelina

    I've never been one for poetry, really, but this is the kind of writing that anyone can understand, poetry lover or not. It is often graphic, always frank, and a fascinating read which I did a lot of interesting work with. I've never been one for poetry, really, but this is the kind of writing that anyone can understand, poetry lover or not. It is often graphic, always frank, and a fascinating read which I did a lot of interesting work with.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Reed

    While not the most useful for a quick look-up (the layout of the poems follows a non-traditional logic), this collection provides a good introduction to war poetry.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cade

    Some great poetry. They did a good job of mixing in both pro and anti-war pieces from soldiers and people on the home front. Nearly all of the poets are from England.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heather Clitheroe

    Quite a stupendous collection, and well worth the read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Binder

    What a confoundingly organised collection.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Fagan

    Read as background for WWI book group at my public library.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kara

  28. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Gallie

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

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