British Poetry of World War I

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Stuart Sillars (University of Bergen)
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The poetry of the world war of 1914-18 which is now regarded as the most significant is that produced by Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and, to a lesser degree, Edmund Blunden, Ivor Gurney and Isaac Rosenberg. All produced poems that, by focusing on specific incidents from the war and voicing anger or bitterness at the colossal waste of life they witnessed, revitalised earlier poetic forms at the same time as making powerful personal statements.

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) had written poetry before the war, largely in the pastoral-realist style of the Georgian poetry anthologies, but the war gave his writing a far stronger individual tone, marked by a combination of unflinching description of detailed individual events and a b…

1924 words

Citation: Sillars, Stuart. "British Poetry of World War I". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 September 2008 [, accessed 04 October 2023.]

5542 British Poetry of World War I 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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