Author(s): Jon Stallworthy
In time of war and national calamity, numbers of people seldom seen in church will suddenly turn to religion for consolation and inspiration - and perhaps more surprisingly, just as many turn to poetry. Never was the phenomenon more clearly marked than in that war we still know as The Great War.
Hundreds of those now referred to as 'the war poets' saw their work in print between 1914 and 1918; others - including some of the best - were not published until afterwards. That rather unsatisfactory label includes very different kinds of writers - Owen and Sassoon, with their poems of passionate indignation, are a far cry from Edward Thomas's bleak and oblique rural ruminations. But 'true Poets', as Wilfred Owen wrote, 'must be truthful', and Jon Stallworthy has gathered here some of the most moving and unforgettable poetry born out of the horror of the trenches. He has written brief but telling accounts of the lives and work of twelve of the most powerful of those poets who experienced and wrote about the worst war the world has ever known. Featured are: Rupert Brooke; Julian Grenfell; Charles Hamilton Sorley; Francis Ledwidge; Siegfried Sassoon; Robert Graves; Wilfred Owen; Edmund Blunden; Edward Thomas; Ivor Gurney; Isaac Rosenberg; David Jones. Illustrated with haunting images, photos and paintings.