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The poetry of the First World War remains a singularly popular and powerful body of work. This Companion brings together leading scholars in the field to re-examine First World War poetry in English at the start of the centennial commemoration of the war. It offers historical and critical contexts, fresh readings of the important soldier-poets, and investigations of the war poetry of women and civilians, Georgians and Anglo-American modernists and of poetry from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the former British colonies. The volume explores the range and diversity of this body of work, its rich afterlife and the expanding horizons and reconfiguration of the term 'First World War Poetry'. Complete with a detailed chronology and guide to further reading, the Companion concludes with a conversation with three poets - Michael Longley, Andrew Motion and Jon Stallworthy - about why and how the war and its poetry continue to resonate with us.
This volume brings together an international cast of scholars from a variety of fields to examine the racial and colonial aspects of the First World War, and show how issues of race and empire shaped its literature and culture. The global nature of the First World War is fast becoming the focus of intense inquiry. This book analyses European discourses about colonial participation and recovers the war experience of different racial, ethnic and national groups, including the Chinese, Vietnamese, Indians, Maori, West Africans and Jamaicans. It also investigates testimonial and literary writings, from war diaries and nursing memoirs to Irish, New Zealand and African American literature, and analyses processes of memory and commemoration in the former colonies and dominions. Drawing upon archival, literary and visual material, the book provides a compelling account of the conflict's reverberations in Europe and its empires and reclaims the multiracial dimensions of war memory.
War writing is haunted by experiences of physical contact: from the muddy realities of the front to the emotional intensity of trench life. Through extensive archival and historical research, analyzing previously unknown letters and diaries alongside literary writings by figures such as Owen and Brittain, Santanu Das recovers the sensuous world of the First World War trenches and hospitals. This original and evocative study alters our understanding of the period as well as of the body at war, and illuminates the perilous intimacy between sense experience, emotion and language as we try to make meaning in times of crisis.