THE WAR POETS
When the First World War broke out, thousand of young men volunteered for military service; most of them regarded the conflict as an adventure undertaken for nobles ends, but during the war this sense of pride was replaced by doubt and disillusionment. For the soldiers, life in the tranches was like hell because of the weather, of the hygienic conditions, the decaying bodies and the repeated bombings. The common soldiers, from the beginning of the war, improvised verses which described the rough and the obscenity of the tranches. Many soldiers were also well educated so the versed in the Classical and English literature. These poets are known ad “The War Poets”.
RUPERT BROOKE (1887 – 1915)
He was born in a well-to-do family, he was a good student and athlete and he became popular for his handsome looks. He hadn't experienced the war because he contracted blood-poisoning and died. For him the war was clean and cleansing, the only thing in war that can suffer is the body and even death is seen as a reward. The publication of Brook's “war sonnets” coincided with his death and made him immensely popular, turning him into a new symbol of the “youn romanti hero” who inspirate patriotism in the early months of the Great War.
SIEGFRIED SASSOON (1886 – 1967)
Born into a wealthy Jewish family he is considered the most innocent of the war poets. His reactions to the realities of the war were bitter and violent and he expressed them through irony in his poems. He also protested publicly against the war.
Sassoon's poems denounced the political errors for which the soldiers were being sacrificed in various ways.
1914 AND OTHER POEMS
If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of...
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