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The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
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The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  180 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; ...more
Paperback, 383 pages
Published October 26th 2006 by Penguin Classics
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Jo Woolfardis
My first read of this book of poetry was purely academically driven and that, as I've discovered in retrospect, has left me feeling nothing but a short wind blowing through a barren wasteland for poetry. Since leaving all academia behind, except via my own volition, I have found a delight in poetry I never knew existed.

Previously I was confused at the layout of this book and I retain that confusion now. Although the poetry is put in to categories, they don't seem to feel as if they should exist.
Jan 06, 2014 Nigeyb rated it really liked it
Shelves: ww1
Some very interesting information in the introduction that I hadn't realised. It's all quite obvious in retrospect but it was still a series of lightbulb moments for me so I'll make reference to it. The reason why there were hundreds of thousands of poems written and published during World War One was because:

- poetry was for most of Edwardian society, a part of everyday life;
- The media was also almost wholly print-based (cinema was still very much in its infancy);
- Victorian and Edwardian edu
Jan 26, 2014 Candace rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: History OR poetry lovers
Recommended to Candace by: BYT Group
Shelves: poetry
Not my usual reading, but I really enjoyed it! This anthology contains poetry that was written during WWI or soon after, the poets all having experienced some aspect of the war. Because the poetry was written during that era, it has poetry forms that were popular during that time, many poems made up of quatrains and some sonnets. I enjoy these forms better than some of the more modern forms used today. It made for easier reading for me, while I was still challenged and moved by the subject matte ...more
Feb 13, 2008 Aileen rated it did not like it
This book is pretty awful. The organization is impossible to figure out. The editing is lousy, and the driving force of the introduction seems to be to track how anthologies over the years have defined the poetry of the first world war. There isn't a table of contents that lists the poems! There is no way of finding poems by author, only a title/first line index. And they aren't dated. So... thanks a lot for thematically organizing the poems into "Before the War" or "Behind the Lines" or "In the ...more
May 25, 2013 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Overall, a very good way to submerge yourself into the Trench Poets, especially if you really only know of two poets.

Selection - Editors chose really great poems for this collections. I also learned about some poets I haven't heard of before.
Introduction - I seem to be one of the few people to like the introduction. It explains the impact anthologies have had on the trench poets and problems that have come from that.

Dates - I only wish that the editors had attached publication
Jan 03, 2014 Val rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: byt-ww1
There are some good poems, some poor poems, some rough poems and some I loved in this book. Poetry was much more part of life in 1914 and was a much more natural way for people to express their thoughts and feelings than it is now.
The poems are arranged thematically, not chronologically or by author, but you can read them in any order you feel like. I dipped into the book over a period of about three months.
Jan 29, 2012 Paige rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
it's so hard to review a collection of poems, without writing a review for every single poem in it (which is more than a few)
there were some i loved, some i didn't, but most of all, interestingly so, my favourite is the first one in the prologue.
brilliant collection with loads of heartfelt, inspirational poetry ^_^
Ade Couper
Nov 10, 2013 Ade Couper rated it it was amazing
Remembrance Sunday....there is no other option than this.

Read it & weep.

The writing is magnificent, with both poems that are internationally famous (Wilfred Owen's stuff), to lesser known pieces ("August 1914" by John Masefield, for instance).

This isn't a very structured review- but that's probably down to the impact of these pieces.
Apr 15, 2015 Lysergius rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Interesting collection of WWI poetry covering most of the well known poets, Owen, Sasson, Gurney, Graves, Brooke etc. and some lesser known. Comprehensive notes and short biographies make this a useful introduction to the poetry of the Great War.
Apr 16, 2013 Edward rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, poetry, 5-star
A Note on the Text


--On the idle hill of summer, A. E. Housman

1 Your Country Needs You

'Let the foul Scene proceed'
--Channel Firing, Thomas Hardy
--The Eve of War, Geoffrey Faber
--On Receiving the First News of the War, Isaac Rosenberg
--The Marionettes, Walter de la Mare
--August, 1914, John Masefield
--1914: Peace, Rupert Brooke
--Happy is England Now, John Freeman
--'For All We Have and Are', Rudyard Kipling
--This is no case of petty Right or Wrong, Edward Thoma
Oct 04, 2016 Rick rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Same title, different book, from the one selected and edited by Jon Silkin in 1979. Poems in this edition, originally titled In Flanders Field: Poetry of the First World War, are arranged in a thematic chronology—approximately: war’s start, recruitment, and training (Your Country Needs You), life in the trenches (Somewhere in France), battle, wounds and recovery (Action), military leave and the home front (Blighty), war’s end and war’s remembrance (Peace).

All the poets are British Commonwealth
Jan 19, 2015 Malvina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this for a short day course. The anthology has a terrific introduction by George Walter, with suggestions about how to approach, read, and generally view WWI poetry. Then come the poems themselves, grouped into 5 general sections (with smaller sub-sections): Your Country Needs You, Somewhere in France, Rendezvous with Death, Blighty, and Peace. At the back of the book are helpful notes on the poems, poet biographies (not just poets from Great Britain, by the way, but international), furth ...more
Casey Hampton
Jul 17, 2012 Casey Hampton rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
This poetry is powerful in its honesty and brutality. It creates a haunting paradox. Some of the poetry is absolutely beautiful while some is war-ugly. All of it left me feeling hollow, quiet, and sad. For myself, the poetry of World War I makes reality ring.
Jan 26, 2012 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Borrowed this as an ebook from the library. The poems are marvelous, of course, and I liked the selection - especially the fact that women poets were included. The forward was forgettable & the lack of a table of contents was just bizarre. Penguin - get your act together!
Jun 15, 2011 Angelina rated it it was amazing
I've never been one for poetry, really, but this is the kind of writing that anyone can understand, poetry lover or not. It is often graphic, always frank, and a fascinating read which I did a lot of interesting work with.
Dec 15, 2012 Reed rated it really liked it
While not the most useful for a quick look-up (the layout of the poems follows a non-traditional logic), this collection provides a good introduction to war poetry.
Sep 05, 2009 Cade rated it really liked it
Some great poetry. They did a good job of mixing in both pro and anti-war pieces from soldiers and people on the home front. Nearly all of the poets are from England.
Madeleine Sinclair
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Nov 03, 2009 Frightful_elk rated it liked it
Shelves: modern, poetry, 20-c, war
Often very rough and ready poetry, but always absolutely engaging.
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