Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Poets and Poems: Seigfried Sassoon and “The War Poems”

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) might have become “THE” war poet of the group of war poets associated with World War I. He was a published poet before the war story and was well known in poetry circles. He was an officer decorated with the Military Cross for bravery and heroism during the war. The men who served under him loved him for his leadership style (he cared about them). And he survived the war.

The only problem was that he made himself distinctly unpopular by publishing a declaration against the war, while the war was still in progress. A letter sent to a commanding officer was forwarded to the press and read aloud in Parliament. His words were considered treasonous; he could have been court-martialed. Instead, he was sent to a military hospital in Scotland where he was officially treated for “shell shock.”

Sassoon wrote poems throughout the war. Most were published in poetry collections; some were published in newspapers and journals. All of them have been collected and published over the years in various editions as The War Poems; the original was published in 1919.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry

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