Furthering understanding of war and peace issues through poetry and critical commentary.
The War Poetry Website© David Roberts, 2016
The War Poetry Website
Books of war poetry, including
anthologies, related books of
biography, history, commentary.
Information for students, teachers,
librarians, and the serious reader Also has links to Amazon, and, through Amazon, to other booksellers who often offer better prices than Amazon. .
AND THE FIRST WORLD WAR WAR POEMS AND POETS OF TODAY The First World War section includes some of the most famous war poems of all  time by Wilfred Owen and others. The basic notes provided with some of these  poems will be useful for students. There is biographical information on about 25  First World War poets, with substantial amounts on Wilfred Owen in particular. To top of page PUBLISHED 2015 Remembrance Poems and Readings  For Remembrance Events and Reflection on Matters of War and  Peace Invaluable for all who are preparing remembrance and memorial events or  meetings or meditations reflecting on matters of war and peace. The place of Remembrance Day in the National Calendar No other day is more important in the national calendar than Remembrance Day. It is celebrated in  every town, city and almost every village in the UK. Similar events take place around the world. Remembrance event ideas  -  contemporary to ancient - in Remembrance Poems and Readings Here is collection of words for remembrance events, and thoughts about remembrance, war and peace,  spanning over two thousand years. Amongst these traditional, ancient and new poems, prayers and  readings there may be found pieces suitable for twenty-first century Remembrance and Memorial  events, and meetings or services that may focus on issues of war and peace.  Some pieces may suggest  ways of developing ideas for commemorative occasions. Many of the items included in this collection will prove moving, thought provoking and even  inspirational. 120 pages paperback. ISBN 978-0-9528969-6-8  Poems and readings selected and introduced by David Roberts. Published by Saxon Books £11.95 (UK)  Available from all book suppliers worldwide, including through our books page Links Remembering War blog:  www.rememberingwar.com This blog by David Roberts is about recent and current wars as well as Remembrance and poetry. Click here. Rules of copyright for users of Remembrance poems  These rules and explanatory notes may be found on the Remembering War blog. Click here to access. NOW ON facebook Rememberingwar.com now on facebook.  David Roberts now writes on  facebook.com/rememberingwar/   Here you can "like", "follow" comment and  contribute. Click to access.
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The first substantial collection of French poetry of the First World War translated into English.
It is astonishing that for almost a century the English-speaking world has been unaware of the
huge, varied and powerful body of French poetry of the First World War. The poets, men and
many women, mainly unknown to British readers, reveal the varied but highly charged
responses of French soldiers and civilians to the ordeal of the war.
This moving and wide-ranging record of France's tragic endurance and ultimate victory will stand
as a fitting memorial alongside the great British poetry of the First World War.
Autumn 2016
Published by Saxon Books
190 Pages paperback
9”x 6”
ISBN 978-0-9528969-9-9        £11-95
French Poems of the Great War  -  102 poems by 27 poets.  Translated by Ian Higgins. REPAIRED LINKS After a period of technical difficulty I hope all the failing links on this page are now fixed!  Problems with links? Please use the contact page to notify me of any failed links. To CONTACT page
This is the MAIN INDEX page Sunday 18th December 2016 -  the 100th anniversary of the end of the battle of Verdun after 303 days of  incessant carnage.  This battle was started on 21 February 1916. The German attack was intended to destroy the French  army by smashing the French army on France's eastern border in the area near Verdun. 23 million  shells were fired during the battle (an average of 3000 shells per hour throughout the 303 days),  pulverising the landscape and life within it. Casualty estimates vary widely but it would appear that  the French lost over 1200 men per day, on average, throughout the 303 day battle and the Germans  a slightly lower figure. French total 377,000 men. German total 337,000 men.  For the French the Battle of Verdun is the iconic battle of the First World War. It was in this battle  that they were close to defeat for several months and lost huge numbers of men. A sense of  bewilderment, exhaustion and the bleeding to death of a country is evident in almost everything one  can read about this battle. The courage, determination and self-sacrifice of the men (and their families)  still inspires awe.  Britain’s part in the battle  The Battle of the Somme, which we think of as essentially a British and British allies battle fought against  the Germans, was actually an important part of the Battle of Verdun. Part of the purpose of the Battle of the  Somme was to draw German troops away from their attack on Verdun. In fact the French prime  minister himself, Aristide Briand, went to see Field Marshall Haig on June 24, 1916 on behalf of  the French troops who were in grave danger at Verdun to ask if he would bring forward the planned  attack against the Germans on the Somme. Haig said that he wasn't able to bring forward the attack but nevertheless began the preliminary  bombardment that same day.   French War Poetry In France, the war called forth a great outpouring of war poetry, much of it powerful, and moving,  and comparable with British war poetry of the period.   The horrendous suffering at Verdun was expressed in the following poem by Anna de Noailles  (1876 - 1933), a woman whose husband fought in the war from beginning to end and whose only  son was 14 start of the war. Here are just extracts:  Extracts from “Verdun”                         . . . So much blood Has run: let no vain human voice ever adulterate with feeble, keening pain the incense misting endlessly from this loam.   Acknowledge, in the slashed and battered plain, the fathomless and hallowed power of France, whose noblest hearts now lie buried in her soil. . .   Soaked and sated, Earth is made man. O passer-by, still your voice, stay your hand: See; feel, pray; revere them for the price they paid.   Anna de Noailles November 1916 Translated by Ian Higgins Published in French Poems of the Great War  French Poems of the Great War, containing  102 poems by 27 poets, translated into English by Ian Higgins, was published by Saxon Books  earlier this year.   100th anniversary of one of the longest battles ever fought -  The Battle of Verdun War and Peace This January (2016) we have had a treat in the UK in the BBC adaptation of Tolstoy's  War and Peace. Seeing it tempted me to start reading this 1400 page novel. It's a wonderful read, a fascinating book.  Tolstoy is a brilliant observer of human behaviour and knew the lifestyles that he depicts. Like Pierre in  the story he began by enjoying a dissolute youth – women, alcohol, and gambling. He served four years  in the Russian army and saw action in the Crimea. He took over the control of the vast estates and large  numbers of serfs that he inherited and became known in his lifetime as the greatest novelist and  thinker in Russia. My wife started reading one translation of War and Peace many years ago and found it stilted and  unsatisfactory. She then read the translation which I am using which is a Signet Classic which reads very  well. I can’t say how faithful it is to Tolstoy’s expression of ideas. For people outside the UK, or those who missed the television production, the series is now available on  DVD and Blu-ray discs. Naturally, as this huge book has been condensed into only six episodes much  has been missed out, but the portrayal of characters is very close to Tolstoy's presentation of them.  Obviously, in Tolstoy's protracted account of their lives there is a greater depth and subtlety in their  behaviour than the TV version could possibly show. I was puzzled however, about why Pierre should not  have been made fat with spiky hair, as he is in the book. One thing the TV series does better than Tolstoy is show the extraordinary opulence of Russia's palatial  homes. Tolstoy makes no attempt to describe them. Occasionally he describes clothing. For example,  Helen Kuragina’s very revealing dress which was typical “of women’s fashion in those days”. David Roberts How to choose an anthology of poetry of the First  World War  -  link.     To top of page             The War Poetry website popularity   The War Poetry website is number one in Google for war poetry. It has over a million page visits per  year.  There were over 100,000 page visits in February 2016. If you have found the website of interest  why not add a link from your website or Facebook page?  The original pages of this website appeared online in 1999.  This first page was redesigned in March 2016 and the plan is to transform the whole website in this  style over this year. I hope that readers will find what they are looking for more easily and have a  pleasant and stimulating experience here as they explore the important topics of war and peace and  the way many writers have responded to the challenges and experience of warfare in the twentieth and  twenty-first centuries. David Roberts, Editor, The War Poetry website.    Copying this page This home page of the War Poetry Website may be freely copied for any reasonable, fair and honest  purpose. Minds at War  -  The Poetry and Experience of the First  World War   A book worth possessing, a book for every library One of the largest anthologies of poetry of The First World War, but more than this, it is particularly interesting and informative because it is packed  with fascinating insights into the lives of poets and the historical context. Edited by David Roberts, Published by Saxon Books 400 pages. £15-99  Available worldwide. Amazon link in right column. Amazon site offers access to  many book suppliers  and  better prices.          About anthologies link . Kosovo War Poetry  -  link To add a link to this website just copy and paste this link into your web page, facebook page etc www.warpoetry,co.uk      David Roberts

Christmas Truce 1914. See photographs by Marguerite Rami of a modern

sculpture commemorating this remarkable event, plus many more of her photos

of striking British war memorials, mainly in the north of England.

New modern war poems?

If you visit the modern war poetry index page you will find links to hundred of modern war poems that have been sent to this website since 1998. Many are by people who have been involved in battle or conflict situations or personally affected by war. I am no longer personally adding war poems to this website except in exceptional circumstances. Have you written a new modern war poem? -  You can add them directly yourself to the Wordpress section of this website  -  and browse the many poems posted here over recent years. (Click on “replies” to see them.) Go to warpoems today.  Please don’t send poems written from your imagined experience of the First World War or your imagined experience of any other war. Please write from personal experience or give your personal reaction to war or peace events. Beware of misleading stories. May I suggest that we all need to be aware that many things reported in the news are propaganda stories put out by one side or another to discredit their enemies. Atrocities are real and all too frequent and have certainly included bombing by our own country, but assigning responsibility for particular events may not always be as easy as we may be led to believe. For example there are many factions fighting in Syria today with fighters from 80 countries. Many countries are bombing Syria. See my Remembering War blog on this and links to sources. My “facts” cannot be verified but the complexity of the issues will be apparent.
A French First World War poet translated by Ian Higgins