World War I Soldiers Wrote More Poems Than Any Others In History, And Here’s One Of The Finest

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World War I was one of history’s most devastating wars. It was the first war to be called a World War because of its extent, not just in Europe but in Africa, too. And, of course, it drew the United States of America in toward the end.

It did damage not only to the economies and the infrastructures of most of Europe but also to the social fabric and even the psychological well-being of whole societies.

Throughout history, poets have been the ones who have found a way to express the inner realities, the psychological and soul-deep responses to the world around them. WWI produced the largest collection of war poets in history up to that date.

Source: flickr/National Library of Scotland
Army rations, Western Front, during World War I


There are whole anthologies of poetry based on the poems of WWI poets like Wilfred Owen and Sigfried Sassoon. And their poetry describes the battlefield realities with unusual force, but they also reveal the interior realities of those who fought the war.

Source: flickr/USMC Archives
World War I Marines with gas masks.


This video is based on a poem called simply “War Poem.” It is recited and backed by powerful pictorial images and evocative music.

Just watch and listen and get a sense of the intimate reality that all combat veterans know in their flesh and bones.

Source: Wikimedia Commons
World War I stretcher bearers.

This is powerful.

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.
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