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Peace Poet: Siegfried Sassoon

- By Duncan Forbes Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) is justly famous for his war poems and the memoirs provoked by his experiences in the First World War...

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Peace Poet: Siegfried Sassoon

By Duncan Forbes

Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) is justly famous for his war poems and the memoirs provoked by his experiences in the First World War. It is fascinating to see how his poetry alters as it responds with pain, rage, scorn and outrage and to the horrors of trench warfare. The pastoral vision of the “Old Century” and the “Fox-hunting Man” gives way to the passions of the “Infantry Officer” who defiantly threw his Military Cross into the River Mersey in protest at the prolongation of the casual slaughter for what he perceived to be political ends. His poem “Blighters” despises the careless jingoism and jollifications back home when the doomed youth were dying “Pro Patria.”

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