Poetry plays a huge role in how we memorialize the First World War because much of our understanding of the war is shaped by the poetry of that time. In fact, the poetry of the First World War has been a staple of schools curriculum across the world and it is partly due to this fact that its reverberations continue to impinge on us, even after so many years. But is that understanding sufficient? Are the war poets we read in school enough to develop a nuanced understanding of the historical trauma back then?
If we think of World War One poetry, poets like Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, or Rupert Brooke come to our mind as most of the school literature textbooks are dominated by their poems. But when choosing certain ‘great’ texts to remember, why are so many excluded? What role does poetic diversity play in our understanding of war poems and related history?
What makes the genre of First World War poetry unique and why is it so powerful and effective at describing traumatic experiences? Read the module and explore how no one was left untouched by the horrors of the Great War back then and, perhaps, even now!