Synopses & Reviews
The First World War produced an extraordinary flowering of poetic talent. Its poets mark the conflict in ways that are both intensely personal and as enduring as any monument. Their lines have come to express the feelings of a nation about the horrors and consequences of war.
This new anthology provides a definitive record of the achievements of the Great War poets and offers a fresh assessment of the work on the centenary of the Great War's outbreak. Focusing on the poets themselves, the book is organized by writer, not theme or chronology. It offers generous selections from the celebrated soldier-poets, including Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Rupert Brooke, whilst also incorporating less well-known writing by civilian and women poets. It also includes two previously unpublished poems by Ivor Gurney.
A general introduction charts the history of the war poets' reception and challenges prevailing myths about the war poets' progress from idealism to bitterness. The work of each poet is prefaced with a biographical account that sets the poems in their historical context.
Although the War has now passed out of living memory, its haunting of our language and culture has not been exorcised. Its poetry survives because it continues to speak to and about us.
"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."
--The Times Literary Supplement
"A superb, unbeatable collection."--Bel Mooney, Daily Mail
"The best poetry collection I read...brilliantly edited, with illuminating notes."--Jerard Bretts, The Guardian
"This is a thoroughly well produced anthology of powerful and fascinating poems."--Sheenagh Pugh
"This is much the best selection yet made ... Kendall selects brilliantly."--Peter McDonald, Times Literary Supplement
"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 volume is dedicated to helping us find the best poetry that came out of the 'War To End All Wars."--Sharon Worth,RALPH: The Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy, and the Humanities
'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.
About the Author
has taught at the universities of Oxford, Newcastle, and Bristol before becoming Professor and Head of English at the University of Exeter. His publications for OUP include Modern English War Poetry
and The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry
, and he is writing War Poetry: A Very Short Introduction
. He is also co-editor of the forthcoming Complete Literary Works of Ivor Gurney
Table of Contents
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
A. E. Housman (1859-1936)
May Sinclair (1863-1946)
W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)
Charlotte Mew (1869-1928)
Robert Service (1874-1958)
Edward Thomas (1878-1917)
Wilfrid Wilson Gibson (1878-1962)
Mary Borden (1886-1968)
Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)
Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)
Julian Grenfell (1888-1915)
T. P. Cameron Wilson (1888-1918)
Patrick Shaw Stewart (1888-1917)
Ivor Gurney (1890-1937)
Isaac Rosenberg (1890-1918)
Arthur Graeme West (1891-1917)
Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)
Margaret Postgate Cole (1893-1980)
May Wedderburn Cannan (1893-1973)
Charles Sorley (1895-1915)
Robert Graves (1895-1985)
David Jones (1895-1974)
Edmund Blunden (1896-1974)
Edgell Rickword (1898-1982)
Music Hall and Trench Songs