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Why did the mood of war poetry change?

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Natalie Goharriz Why did the mood of war poetry change? "'POETRY', Wordsworth reminds us, 'is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings', and there can be no area of human experience that has generated a wider range of powerful feelings than war: hope and fear; exhilaration and humiliation; hatred - not only for the enemy, but also for generals, politicians, and war-profiteers; love - for fellow soldiers, for women and children left behind, for country (often) and cause (occasionally)." That was a quote from Jon Stallworthy, in his introduction to 'The Oxford Book of War Poetry'. The First World War was one of mankind's greatest tragedies - and the poets were those most gifted to express the experience of those traumatic years. ...read more.


The war poets, as all poets, brought, to everything they wrote, their education, their life experience, their character. They wrote in the context of momentous events and intense national feelings. But more importantly, poets wrote mainly in response to personal experiences. The early war poems seem to be more patriotic in this way, as if the poet is not only taking his own personal feelings, but conjuring up an atmosphere felt by the rest of his country too. Later war poetry is more cynical. Sassoon's later war poems attacks the entire nature of war and those who profit by it. He, in particular, became more cynical, as his opinion of the war and those in charge changed. ...read more.


of which he began to express his feelings about the "war, upon which I entered as a war of defence and liberation, has now become a war of aggression and conquest." When he was sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital, he met other fellow war poets, for example, Wilfred Owen, and had a profound effect on his work too. Sassoon's ideas and opinions greatly influenced those of Owen, and consequently, the approach to war poetry changed. Much of Sassoon's poetry written during the War was satirical in nature. Several poems are aimed at those on the Home Front. Sassoon used his poems to hit out at those at Home whom he considered to be making a profit out of the War, or those whom he felt were helping to prolong the War. 569 words, graded A ...read more.

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