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Sassoon(TM)s poetry is too angry to be effective.

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  • Essay length: 923 words
  • Submitted: 15/03/2009
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AS and A Level Other Poets

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"Sassoon's poetry is too angry to be effective."

Kay Bennett

Siegfried Sassoon produced some of the Great War's most bitter, ironic and satirical poetry with the intention of conveying the horror of the reality of war. Prior to enlisting in August 1914, he lived a comfortable upper-class life, indulging in pursuits such as fox-hunting, golf and cricket. He heavily influenced the verse of fellow seminal war poet Wilfred Owen and was great friends with Robert Graves. In 1917, he spoke out against the war but eventually returned to it.

Targets of the anger in Sassoon's poetry were those higher up in the military hierarchy. 'Base Details' and 'The General', in particular, use satire to communicate resentment for the incompetence, indifference and obliviousness of the generals.

"He's a cheery old card [...]

But he did it for them both with his plan of attack" - The General

"And speed glum heroes up the line to death [...]

Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel [...]

Yes, we've lost heavily in this last scrap.

And when the war is done and youth stone dead,

I'd toddle safely home

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