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Poetry of the First World War
An Anthology. Oxford World's Classics
'What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?'
The First World War produced an extraordinary flowering of poetic talent, from poets whose words commemorate the conflict as enduringly as monuments in stone. Their poems have come to express the feelings of a nation about the horrors and aftermath of war. This new anthology provides a definitive record of the achievements of the Great War poets. As well as offering generous selections from the celebrated soldier-poets, including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert
Brooke, and Ivor Gurney, it also incorporates less well-known writing by civilian and women poets. Music hall and trench songs provide a further lyrical perspective on the War.
The work of each poet is prefaced with a biographical account that sets the poems in their historical context. In addition, Tim Kendall's introduction charts the history of the war poets' reception and challenges prevailing myths about their progress from idealism to bitterness.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
This is a wonderful resource, with a useful critical introduction and many poems by both canonical and non-canonical writers that are not commonly included. I particularly like the fact that the volume is structured by author rather than thematically or chronologically, as it takes student readers in particular away from a simplistic perception of First World War poetry as evolving from naive patriotism to disillusionment. * Dr Ann-Marie Einhaus, Northumbria University * Superb. * Weekly Standard * This is a book worthy of any bookshelf. * Evil Cyclist's Blog * As a student-friendly definition of the Great War canon, and as a piece of meticulous scholarship, this one will be hard to beat. * George Simmers, Great War Fiction * This is much the best selection yet made ... Kendall selects brilliantly. * Peter McDonald, Times Literary Supplement * This is a thoroughly well produced anthology of powerful and fascinating poems. * Sheenagh Pugh * The best poetry collection I read brilliantly edited, with illuminating notes. * Jerard Bretts, the guardian * A superb, unbeatable collection * Bel Mooney, Daily Mail * Superb anthology. * Mail on Sunday * The Oxford University Press anthology The Poetry of the First World War, edited by Tim Kendall, offers a counterweight to this year's public commemorations and it is a superb selection. * David Collard, Times Literary Supplement * Kendall's judicious selections, and his concise and useful introductions to each of the chosen poets, suggest that his anthology will become a standard work * Sean O'Brien, The Times Literary Supplement * Kendall's introductory essay is a thoughtful contribution to the history of the war poetry. With the political point scoring that will dominate the major part of the media and political debate [during] the centenary, Kendall's collection reminds us of the human cost of that conflict, and of any conflict. * The Use of English, Anil Malhotra * What makes this anthology invaluable is the attention to detail. Not only is there an acutely perceptive general introduction, but all the poets - including the often misunderstood Rupert Brooke - receive a sympathetic and well judge individual introduction, together with a wealth of biographical and bibliographical information. * Agenda, N. S. Thompson *