War Poems

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War is a time of violence, protest, death and pain for many people around the world. With this conflict, a lot of poetry is written because poetry is one of the most common ways for people to put across their feelings about situations. War is one of these situations for which many people have very strong feelings.

A common theme in war poetry is the transformation that war brings about in a person. Many poems reveal boys going into war and becoming young men after the experience. Another dominant theme in war poems is about the forgotten soldiers who lost their lives and weren’t remembered.

Many poems have been written about war and the feelings evoked by war. Even though a lot of war poetry was written before World War 1, the defining war poems were written during or about World War 1. Possibly the main reason for this was because of the sheer scale and importance of this war. Not saying that other wars in history weren’t important, its’ just that World War 1 was the first war on a world wide scale and the first war that caused protesting, not necessarily against the war on a world wide scale.

Many of the great war poems were written by men and women who actually served in, or were directly affected by war. These poets who have served in war are really able to give an emotional element to their poems because they have first hand experience of the mixed emotions brought up by war.

Wilfred Gibson was one such poet who experienced war. Gibson was born in Hexham in 1878. He had his first poem published in 1902 and he had several poems included in various volumes of Georgian Poetry.

Gibson joined the British Army and served as a private in the infantry on the Western Front. Unlike most other poets who were officers, Gibson wrote poetry from the point of view of the ordinary foot soldier.

After he returned from the First World War Gibson continued to write poetry. This example of his work, “back” is one of the poems Gibson wrote after...
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