The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon StallworthyThere can be no area of human experience that has generated a wider range of powerful feelings than war. The 250 poems included in this acclaimed anthology span centuries of human conflict from Davids lament for Saul and Jonathan, and Homers Iliad, to the finest poems of the Second World War, Vietnam, the conflicts in Northern Ireland and El Salvador, and chilling visions of the Next War. Reflecting the feelings of poets as diverse as Byron, Hardy, Owen, Sassoon, and Heaney, they reveal a great shift in social awareness from mans early celebratory war songs to the more recent anti-war attitudes of poets responding to mans inhumanity to man.
The New Oxford Boook of War Poetry from Jon Stallworthy
Read more and buy the book. The Oxford Book of War Poetry has been on active service for thirty years, one hundredth part of the history of warfare to which poets have borne witness. To demonstrate the qualitative range of poems prompted by warfare, and to suggest why many fail, a brief case-study of the poetry of the Vietnam War may be instructive. The Stateside poems can themselves be divided into two categories: first, the poetry of first-hand witness to the moral and other effects of the war on America — poems by Allen Ginsberg, for example; second, the poetry of second-hand witness to the war in Vietnam — too much of it like this:. It kind of cracked me up. This was written by a great poet — Robert Lowell — but I cannot be alone in thinking it is not a great poem.
There can be no area of human experience that has generated a wider range of powerful feelings than war. The new edition, published to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, includes a new introduction and additional poems from David Harsent and Peter Wyton amongst others. In the three videos below Jon Stallworthy discusses the significance and endurance of war poetry.
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