World War 1 Poets

all poets
Rupert Brooke, Charles Sorley, Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen, and Sigfreid Sassoon

-describing what they see in a very realistic way-explaining things to people that don’t get it -take on anti-popular POV: if you are selling a lot of copies then you aren’t telling the truth because you are telling them what they want to hear

what defined them
-the truth of their experiences on the front-what does nature look like when you are fighting a war: bird sounds become rifle shots-brought people down to sober reality

Culture Shift
-less thought that the West had it right and the rest of the world was wrong

post WW1
= high modernists-experiences like Kurtz’s was not normal before the war but after millions had that experience-became harder to believe in leaders because they were telling people to go to war

what the war became
-after years of war, both sides gave up trying to gain land-thousands were dying and hoping that the other side would lose too many soldiers and negotiate a settlement-soldiers learned they were there to kill and be killed=less enthusiasm for war

War Poets Experience
-all except Sassoon died before 30-wrote to people back home who had idealized notion of what is happening at the front because if they knew what was actually happening they would have a different view of war

Rupert Brooke
-pro war-wrote all sonnets-died @ 27-aristocratic-at beginning of war, wrote of his experience as a soldier with hope that this war would end all wars and his generation was lucky to fight war-generation before lost morals and hoping that through war they would join together

“Peace” by Rupert Brooke
-thank god for the war that we could provide something meaningful-soldiers are ones taking up call-peace isn’t peace of not having any conflict, it is knowing what is worth fighting for-only thing we have to worry about is physical pain and death-those back home have more issues because their security is filled with anxiety to protect themselves-soldiers know security through fearlessness: only thing that would happen is if they die and death is the safest place-feel safer at front than at home

“The Soldier” by Rupert Brooke
-do not want to be buried in another country, but where they are buried is a little piece of England

“Safety” by Rupert Brooke
-most blessed are those that have found security on the front by identifying with undying things like wind, birds, freedom-death is safety-soldiers develop a sense of absurdity in how life played out: the wreckless never got hurt while the careful killed-couldn’t create safety=new attitude of orderly universe and how life isn’t fair

Charles Sorley
-saw more action-died @ 20-his attitude was unsentimental and ironic-sentimental- something that gives more emotion than it deserves; overreacting -thinks Brooke was too sentimental

adjectives to describe WW1 poets
unsentimental and tragically ironic

“To Germany” by Charles Sorley
-when peace comes we will be friends, but peace hasn’t come yet so we are still trying to kill each other-it’s our duty to try and kill each other-thought-provoking, realistic, ironic

“When You See Millions of the Mouthless Dead” by Charles Sorley
-don’t take what the soldiers are doing and say what you want to say because I know the dead and I know what they would want to say-mouthless=dead-after death, politicians can make them say anything they want-people that you loved are dead, don’t confuse the death of the masses with the person you love

“that many a better one has died before” from When You See Millions
-many deaths in history and ones died in this war may not be better than those that lived-only sad when great heroes die-because he died he was better than those who lived is not true-be realistic about life achievements and don’t think you are better than others

“Route March” by Charles Sorley
-sing while march-Jesus and Barrabas mentioned because Jesus died and Barrabas lived but should have been switched: those deserving don’t always get what they deserve

Wilfred Owen
-best example of great war poetry that is neither pro nor against war-sentimental and unsentimental-writing poems about the experience and taking others in to understand the experience, but this challenges the reader

-early 20th century artistic movement marked by desire to move away from established traditions-a quest to find new ways to view man’s position or function in the universe-experiments in form and style: fragmentation as opposed to organic theories of iteracy-an interest in the nature of civilization and its discontent

-talks about social and public changes of western culture after Enlightenment= rise of industrialization and change of politics that were better understood before WW1-how a discredited monarch could lead to the death of millions, people trying to figure out how this happened

the psychological dream world that people live in

Poet’s Struggles
-living in reality but seems like a nightmare -poets describe their lives but no one knows what they are going through-describing setting in depth but they think that no one will get what they are saying because they weren’t there

“Greater Love” by Wilfred Owen
-war changes the value of words-love is not about romance, it is about what was experienced in the war-takes common sense values and questions them-change of values changes the view of common sense values

“Apologia Pro Poemate Meo” by Wilfred Owen
=Apology for My Poem-sorry I am writing a poem about war-poem about explaining war because people don’t realize what happened in war-“seraphic for an hour though they were foul” after death face goes blue and kind of look like a statue-“these men are worth your tears, you are not worth their merriment”

Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen
=sweet and fitting to die for your country-people are more dying than fighting for their country

“Insensibility” by Wilfred Owen
-maybe it’s better to be dull by a numbness that will get you through tough times-don’t care if you die anymore-there is something in us that mourns these deaths and if you cut yourself off from that then you are no longer living life, it is a curse

Sigfreid Sassoon
-survived war-show how war betrayed his generation-wrote some of first early forms of shell shock/war experience-how you changed during war but society you come back to has not changed

“Repression of War Experience” by Sassoon
-most things remind him of war-about PTSD

Modernity def by Sassoon
-the social conditions, processes, and discourses consequence to the Age of Enlightenment-the modern society/industrial civilization shaped the world we live in-world open to transformation by human intervention (war)-complex of economic institutions (industrial production and market economy)-rage of political institutions including the nation-state and mass democracy-unlike preceding cultures, modernity lives in the future rather than he past; institutions and policies are what are coming not what has been

Isaac Rosenberg
-never thought there was a justification for war-brutal realism of events-describes limbs and the dead in gruesome ways