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[log in to unmask] wrote:

> Well, I don't know what Eliot thought about English War poets, but I
> find
> them a dreary lot, especially with all that stiff upper lip for mother
>
> England stuff. Last gasp of colonialism. Rosenberg I think is much
> better,
> and maybe a bit like Celan. What did you think of his poems? Did you
> find
> them too harsh or not "literary" enough? Certainly he isn't "In
> Flanders
> fields the poppies grow...." I prefer, say, Goya's Disasters of War,
> because
> it's so insincere and superficial to make war sound pretty or
> "poetic." It is
> true, though, that Goya or Roseberg or Celan are right in one's face
> with
> things that many people find hard to take.

Dear Pat et al.,
    There is more to English War poetry than Brooke's Flanders.  Next
time you're near a library or bookstore, look for _The Penguin Book of
First World War Poetry_ edited, with a fine intro, by Jon SIlkin.  It
actually contains more than WWI English poets, though they are the
center of the book.  What about Ivor Gurney or Siefried Sassoon?
Rosenberg gets, just looking quickly at the TOC, the most, or next to
the most, poems.  (Wilfred Owen may get one more.)  Edward Thomas is a
wonderful poet, and may not immediately come to mind for war poetry.
    As a group we failed to note September 1, the start of WWII.
Another Auden poem to recommend: "September 1, 1939."  It is not in his
collected editions, as he came to think some of it false.  Louis
Untemeyer's anthology has it.  And, if memories serves, Rosenberg is in
there, too.

M.