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Modern war poetry:

By jimstaro - Posted on 17 April 2011

British soldiers explore Afghanistan and Iraq wars in verse


A new generation of war poets is providing powerful insight into ongoing conflicts by putting their vivid impressions into words. Sean Rayment and Michael Howie report.

17 April 2011 - For centuries, soldiers have used poetry to describe the horrors of war. The celebrated First World War poets – Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke – memorably used cathartic verse to illustrate the futility of a conflict that saw a generation of young men perish.

Yet war poetry offers much to the reader, too.

“When someone reads a war poem, they get the most vivid impression of what war is like – much more so than any report on television,” says Lord Baker, the former education secretary and editor of the Faber Book of War Poetry. “They are often more memorable than even photographs of war. Many pictures were taken in the trenches, but it’s the poetry of Sassoon and Owen that survives in the public’s mind.” {continued with slide presentation of a few poems}


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