Studying War Poetry 1

On this page: Going Beyond the Basics of First World War Poetry


Studying War Poetry for the First Time

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Studying war poetry for the first time? This may be the book for you – Out in the Dark.

If you are studying the poetry of the First World War for the first time Out in the Dark may be the book for you. Seven of the most important poets of the war have been given whole chapters. The poems are printed in the order they were written so that it is easy to see how the poets’ skills and ideas changed over a period of time. For example, the chapter on Wilfred Owen contains 19 of his poems in full, including Dulce et Decorum Est and Anthem for Doomed Youth. These, and the other poems have detailed notes explaining all the unfamiliar expressions. There is an account of the key events in Wilfred Owen’s wartime experience and his thoughts and ideas are made clear in several extracts from his personal letters. The chapter ends with comments by a number of well-known critics which show how the appreciation of his work has changed over the years. Other poets are treated in a similar way. Siegfried Sassoon, Rupert Brooke, Charles Sorley, Thomas Hardy, Edward Thomas, and Isaac Rosenberg.

There are poems by 38 other poets, including 19 women poets.

Two whole chapters are devoted to the work of the women poets.

Significant poems by nineteen other poets appear in sections on the outbreak of war, the conditions in the war zones, and the responses of poets at the end of the war.

There is information about events in the war, statements by well-known people of the time and extracts from newspaper articles to help the reader understand what was going on and what people were saying at that time.

The book is illustrated with photographs of the period, maps and diagrams.


Out in the Dark

Poetry of the First World War in Context and with basic notes

Edited by David Roberts

A collection of poems of First World War recommended for students and the general reader. 19 poems by Wilfred Owen, 27 by Siegfried Sassoon and over 90 more war poems by 45 significant poets including women writers. Contextual information and basic notes on many poems. Illustrated. Suitable for the general reader and students alike.

185 pages. Published by Saxon Books. Ninth printing.   £10-99 (UK)


More information at

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Going Beyond the Basics of First World War Poetry


NOW REPRINTING  -  Due in stock 15 July 2014

Going beyond the basics of First World War poetry

This groundbreaking anthology of First World War poetry will appeal to people who wish to encounter both key poets and poems but also read more widely and gain a deeper understanding of both the poetry and the mindsets of people caught up in the First World War.


Minds at War includes the great classic poems of the war, poems by many women poets, and unfamiliar poems that enjoyed huge popularity at the time they were written, all set in an historical context, with many revealing insights from diaries, personal letters and accounts, pronouncements by the media, politicians and others.

This volume includes contemporary photographs and cartoons, maps, biographies, glossary and bibliography. Minds at War is an illuminating, fascinating, moving and comprehensive anthology of First World War poetry. It is widely used in academic institutions in Britain and America.

For more information go to More about Minds at War.


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  26. The Devil’s Merry-go-Round

    Silent now
    the tents stand in sterile rows
    palely innocent of the carnage
    the dead have gone
    the barely living too
    the generals sigh and mourn the loss
    of reputation
    yet plan the next great useless push
    eyes downcast
    against the furious accusation
    of obvious bitter truths
    we pack the blunted instruments
    the few drugs
    and burn the sheets that nothing now can clean
    and move on
    the carousel turns
    the horses rise and fall
    bearing another army of the dying
    to the tents standing in sterile rows
    silent n
    but not for long

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