‘More Light! More Light!’ by Anthony Hecht what inspired by the poet’s experiences during World War II. It describes several horrific deaths, one and 16th-century England and three in Buchenwald during World War II.
‘Epitaph on a Tyrant’ by W.H. Auden is a thoughtful poem written at the beginning of WWII. The piece describes a tyrant’s beliefs and his power over everything around him.
In ‘A Subaltern’ the speaker catches a glimpse of the innocence and hope he thought the war had erased in a conversation with a junior military officer.
‘Ultima Ratio Regum’ translates to English as “the last (ultimate) argument of kings,” which is an insinuation of war. In this poem, Spender portrays the effect of war on innocent, insignificant lives.
In ‘Last Post’, the poet winds back the clock so we reimagine fallen soldiers being brought back to life instead of dying in battle in the fields during WWI.
‘Dreamers’ by Siegfried Sassoon speakers on the inner, dream-like lives of soldiers fighting in the trenches of World War I.
‘Winter-Lull’ by D.H. Lawrence describes a snow covered battlefield and the silence plaguing a group of soldiers during WWI.
‘And There Was a Great Calm’ by Thomas Hardy describes the horrors of WWI, the end of the war, and the ‘Great Calm’ which came on November 11th, 1918.
‘Break of Day in the Trenches’ by Isaac Rosenberg delves into the desolate feelings of alienation from the “other” that impacted soldiers in Word War I.
‘The Garden’ by Ezra Pound describes the emotional conflict caused by changes in the upper and lower classes of England during the ending months of WWI.
‘Secrets’ describes the natural human affinity for the sorrows of the world and how one may be changed by their own interior “misery.”
‘The Old Year’ by Henry Kendall is an optimistic piece that deals with how time passes and the intangible impact it leaves on the present.
‘In Westminster Abbey’ is a satirical dramatic monologue in which Betjeman sends up the upper classes for their preoccupations with class and money.
‘Heart and Mind’ is a poem that was written in 1944. Edith Sitwell’s best known work is the one produced during the Second World War.
‘Vergissmeinnicht’ is about English soldiers returning to the scene of a battle fought three weeks previously and find the dead body of a German soldier.
In ‘The Call,’ Robert Service reflects on the propaganda used to recruit soldiers into World War I, based on his living in France at the time.
‘The Stretcher-Bearer’ is one of Robert Service’s signature wartime poems that recalls his experiences during the First World War.
The commentary that Whitman provides in ‘Beat! Beat! Drums!’, in regard to the American Civil war, is that it’s all-encompassing and negative.
‘Wild With All Regrets’ by Wilfred Owen takes place in the last few minutes of a dying soldier as his body shuts down, and he grows immobile.