The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  628 ratings  ·  42 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, 400 pages
Published May 11th 2007 by Penguin Classics (first published July 26th 1979)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,234)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Nigeyb
Jan 09, 2014 Nigeyb rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Charles
What is it about World War I that garnered such a deluge of superb war poetry? There has been wars since man stood erect and poetry almost as long? So what was the magic held by those predominantly British soldiers that enabled them to capture horror and dread in such introspective confines as verse? In reading this Penguin collection, I found that neither Wilfred Owen nor Siegfried Sassoon were the best poets...that distinction must go to Edmund Blunden, whose poetry is both probing and compell...more
Candace
Mar 07, 2014 Candace rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: History OR poetry lovers
Recommended to Candace by: BYT Group
Shelves: b-y-t, poetry, ww1
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
Meen
Aug 23, 2011 Meen rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Meen by: Found it at this great used book warehouse in Knoxville with Nathan
Shelves: la-poesie, own-it
8/23/11: Jeezus, this took forever. I couldn't review this if I tried b/c it ended up being the book I carried around for reading on the subway, and I don't actually go into the city that much, so I'm rarely on the subway. The introduction was really long, and the editor suggests that Rosenberg is the superior poet to Owen (the other "great" WWI poet), but I liked Owen's poems the best. I would like to read more of his work. This was also a lesson that I can't read big collections of poetry. I n...more
Saoirse Sterling
It is difficult for me to know what I should be reviewing here: the poetry within or the entire collection? I would give the poetry five stars, for it is an absolutely fantastic collection of poetry that can never be stopped in telling the gruesome truth of War and All. It also features poetry by women, which is something I have never encountered in modest amounts before. Thus meaning that as a collection, they have done well in picking those which capture the very essence of feeling.

But the way...more
David
Oct 14, 2013 David rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
Overall, a very good way to submerge yourself into the Trench Poets, especially if you really only know of two poets.

Positive:
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.

Negative:
Dates - I only wish that the editors had attached publication...more
Serena
The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Second edition) edited by Jon Silkin and David McDuff is a collection of poetry from and about the WWI. Silkin and McDuff increased the number of poems in translation included in the collection. There are poems translated from German, French, Italian, Russian, and Hebrew, and Silkin was a poet himself. As expressed in the not at the beginning, “For some, war was moral athletics; others looked forward to the experience of war as a ‘vacation from life’ —...more
Antoine
Mar 25, 2008 Antoine rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: great war enthusiasts
Recommended to Antoine by: Prof Richard "A-minus" Cody
One of the books from my semester-o'-world-war-one, in the spring of 1990. This one was, I think, from the English class, though it may have also been assigned reading for the history class as well. The poetry itself runs the gamut, from the conventional and sentimental "pep" works from early in the war (some from poets, like Rupert Brooke, who died before ever seeing combat at all, and others from poets too old for combat, like Kipling), to full fledged "trench poetry" by the likes of Wilfrid O...more
Pink
Harrowing and heartbreaking poems from WW1, mostly written by soldiers in the trenches 100 years ago.

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields

Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you, from falling hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high
If...more
Joyce Hamya
Well edited; comprehensive selection of WWI poetry that allows the reader to view the subject from a variety of perspectives.
Aileen
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
Val
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.
Martin
There were a huge number of lives sacrificed in vain in the first world war. Some of them were poets of the highest caliber. Other great poets survived the battles and returned home. Whether you are reading the poetry of someone who died in the war, or survived, this collection is one of the most moving you will ever read. Highly recommended.
Ade Couper
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.
Paige
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 ^_^
Annette Hart
I always like to dip into this in the run up to Rememberance Sunday. It's a good way of reminding me of what those men went through, physically and emotionally, almost 100 years ago. This collection has both the classics and some lesser known poems and includes poets from both sides of the conflict.
Penni Russon
Read in conjunction with Regeneration by Pat Barker and then later I read Alan HOllinghurst's The Stranger's Child. A great collection, though I would have liked to have seen more female poets.
Naomi
I particularly appreciate the focus on the development and changes in poetic form, tone, and timbre that the editor uses to shape this anthology. Including diverse voices and utilizing poets both popular at the time and who gained attention posthumously and/or after the war, this collection is large and thorough, though never complete since there was a profusion of poetry written from this war. A fine volume to read and reflect upon, meeting these men and women trying to make sense of what is of...more
Angel Serrano
Colección de poesía anti belicista escrita durante o con motivo de la I Guerra Mundial por poetas británicos o traducida de poetas franceses, alemanes, italianos y rusos. Aunque el tema es común, el enfoque varía del más generalista hasta el más concreto, destacando el detallismo de los alemanes.
San
Did not read all, but is excellent
Jim
Mar 24, 2011 Jim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry beginners
Shelves: poetry, 20th-century
With contributions from a diverse range of people including war poets Wifred Owen and Siegried Sassoon and authers D.H. Lawrence and Rudyard Kipling this book contains a respectable selection of poems. If you haven't got into poetry but would like to try it without comitting to one writer then you could do worse than read The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry.
Belinda G
Really good, comprehensive anthology of poems. This will definitely become a staple for me!!

I particularly think the foreward is fantastic and I like how the poems are categorised. It makes for much easier searching for themes and helps to find poems you weren't necessarily familiar with beforehand.
Sara
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!
Casey Hampton
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.
K.M. Weiland
All in all, a good collection of WWI-era or -inspired poetry. It's beautiful, wrenching stuff that, quite honestly, is difficult to read sometimes. I appreciated the selection's broad range, which included French, German, Russian, Italian, and female voices.
Angelina
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.
Andrew Latham
Some of the most moving poetry every written. Includes, but goes way beyond, the usual suspects. As we approach the centenary of the outbreak of the War to End All War this ought to be on everyone's reading list.
John
War poetry at its simple best.

There has always seemed to be something about conflict and human tragedy that has bought about the artistic best in man... this collection is ample proof of that.
Laura
A comprehensive anthology of this genre/period giving a wide selection of themes involved in this type of poetry for anyone studying and a moving selection of poetry those who are merely interested.
Cade
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.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 41 42 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bright Young Things: "The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry" 51 35 Jul 21, 2014 04:09AM  
  • The War Poems
  • The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
  • Undertones of War
  • The Great War and Modern Memory
  • The First Day on the Somme
  • The Roses of No Man's Land
  • The Collected Poems
  • The Complete Poems
  • The Complete English Poems (Herbert, George)
  • The Metaphysical Poets (Penguin Classics)
  • Sagittarius Rising
  • Goodbye to All That
  • The Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front
  • Testament of Youth
  • The Works of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth Collection)
  • The First World War: A Complete History
  • Gallipoli
  • Best Poems of the Brontë Sisters
Out of Battle: The Poetry of the Great War little time-keeper: poems Selected Poems Silkin Poems: New and Selected LENS BREAKERS

Share This Book