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In the growing dust the faceless demon stands, And the moon he crushes in his strong, black hands.’The German poet George Heym’s 'War’ was written in 1911 - predating the Great War but also prefiguring the poetry that arose from it.
This one was, I think, from the English class, though it may have also been assigned reading for the history class as well.
The poetry itself runs the gamut, from the conventional and sentimental "pep" works from early in the war (some from poets, like Rupert Brooke, who died before ever seeing combat at all, and others from poets too old for combat, like Kipling), to full fledged "trench poetry" by the likes of Wilfrid OOne of the books from my semester-o'-world-war-one, in the spring of 1990.
And who in the gateway of the monstrous r‘He is risen now that was long asleep, Risen out of vaulted places dark and deep.
In 1912 Heym also wrote ‘Why do you you visit me, white moths, so often’ which concluded with the lines:‘Who opens the countries to us after death? What do the dying see, that makes them turn Their eyes’ blind whiteness round so terribly?
The poetry itself runs the gamut, from the conventional and sentimental "pep" works from early in the war (some from poets, like Rupert Brooke, who died before ever seeing combat at all, and others from poets too old for combat, like Kipling), to full fledged "trench poetry" by the likes of Wilfrid Owen, Robert Graves, and Siegfried Sassoon.
There is also a nice sampling of work by German and French Poets.I discovered a few new poets I’ll approach again and my estimations of Sassoon, Owen and Blunden were undoubtedly confirmed.Harrowing and heartbreaking poems from WW1, mostly written by soldiers in the trenches 100 years ago.At its worst this combination comes across as a cult of death - ‘our glorious dead’ forever judging the living on whether we measure up to their sacrifice.However the sheer scale of industrialised warfare exemplified by the First World War demonstrated that individual bravery, valour, or sacrifice mean very little if everybody is being mown down by machine guns - hero or coward alike.Arranged thematically, the selections take the reader through the war’s stages, from conscription to its aftermath, and offer a blend of voices that is both unique and profoundly moving.My experience with poetry anthologies is limited as an adult reader.There isn't much in the way of effective commentary or organization, but the raw material is all here, at a moderate price and a convenient size. " Picked this up after singing the Britten War Requiem and experiencing the power and depth of emotion in Wilfred Owen's poetry.Took me forever to read, but it's an incredible collection.‘He is risen now that was long asleep, Risen out of vaulted places dark and deep.Short days ago We lived, felt dawn saw sunset glow Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields Take up our quarrel with the foe; To you, from falling hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.” ― John Mc Crae What is it about World War I that garnered such a deluge of superb war poetry?There has been wars since man stood erect and poetry almost as long?