Twentieth-Century War Poetry

Philippa Lyon · ISBN 9781350310551
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Publisher Bloomsbury UK
Author(s) Philippa Lyon
Published 10282004
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Poets have written about wars throughout the 20th century - questioning, protesting and, sometimes, celebrating the nature and purpose of conflict. Attracting an enthusiastic popular readership, war poetry has often been seen as a way of remembering and re-imagining wars. Today, war poems are not only part of our memorial culture, on epitaphs and in Remembrance Day services, but have inspired books and films and become studied widely around the world. This Guide examines the genesis and development of the important genre of war poetry in the twentieth century, focusing in particular on the role of the two world wars in the literary and cultural construction of a 'war poetry' category. Philippa Lyon draws upon a range of key historical and contemporary critical responses, from poetic memoir and journalism to sophisticated academic criticism, to demonstrate the rich diversity of expectations and evaluations elicited by the developing genre.


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