Three Poets of the First World War

Three Poets of the First World War

Summary

This new selection brings together the poetry of three of the most distinctive and moving voices to emerge from the First World War. Here are the controlled passion and rich metaphors of Wilfred Owen's celebrated verses such as 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' and 'Strange Meeting', along with many of his lesser-known works. The elegiac poems of Ivor Gurney, including 'Requiem' and 'The Silent One', reflect his love of language, music and landscape, while the visceral works of Isaac Rosenberg, such as 'Break of Day in the Trenches', are filled with stark imagery but also, as in 'Louse Hunting', with vitality and humour. Each poet reflects the disparate experiences of ordinary soldiers in war, and attempts to capture man's humanity in the most inhumane of circumstances.

About the authors

Wilfred Owen

<b>Wilfred Owen</b> was born in Oswestry, a Shropshire town close to the Welsh border, on 18 March 1893. Intended first for the church, Owen finally decided at the age of 20 that literature meant more to him than evangelical religion. He was working as a tutor in France when Germany invaded Belgium and war was declared in 1914. Owen enlisted a year later, was commissioned into the 5th (Reserve) Battalion, Manchester Regiment in 1916, and crossed to France at the end of that year. By mid-1917 he was diagnosed as suffering from shellshock, and was invalided back to Craiglockhart War Hospital in Scotland, where he met Siegfried Sassoon. He wrote some of his most powerful war poetry at the start of 1918 before he was declared fit to return to France. Owen was awarded the Military Cross for his service in the last British assaults on the German line, but he did not live to wear it or to see in print most of the poems that would make his name. In the early morning of 4th November 1918, his platoon was caught in heavy fire and Wilfred Owen was killed, only seven days before peace was declared.
Learn More

Ivor Gurney

Learn More

Isaac Rosenberg

Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more