Wilfred Brooke Poetry

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At the beginning of the First World War the characteristic response to it was that to serve in the war was a matter of duty. Poetry was written in order to express a sense of honor and to celebrate the glories of war. Rupert Brooke writes in his poem “The Soldier”: “If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field /That is forever England” (Larkin, The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse, 213).This poem is a romantic sonnet and is patriotic which celebrates the values of the liberal culture of Brooke and his contemporaries which sees death as a sacrifice. Wilfred Owen who came to maturity during the War found in the very heart of the battle his inspiration and subject matter. In a preface to his poems, he declared: “My subject is War and the pity of War. The poetry is in the pity” (220) .All his best poems are informed with this pity, a pity controlled by a highly sensitive irony. The important war poets are Sir William Watson, Henry New-Bolt, Sorely, Owen, Rosenberg and Sassoon. The first two are chauvinistic; the others are sensitive to the misery and sufferings brought about by the war. The horrors of the First World War marked the end of a phase of Western European Liberal Culture. In four years, 1914 to 1918, over nine million lives were lost in Europe, the British Commonwealth, and the U. S. A. Profound psychological injuries were caused in the minds of the survivors and a physical and metaphysical wasteland was created
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