The flurry of conversions to Roman Catholicism among writers of the early and mid-20th century has attracted a good deal of recent commentary, some of it more pious than substantial. The case of Siegfried Sassoon provides a caution here, for Sassoon initially desired to write explicitly Catholic poetry in the aftermath of his 1957 conversion, but quickly came to doubt the truth of this ambition. His faltering efforts in the direction of religious verse suggest that turning to Rome could sometimes prove very far from a creatively enriching experience. The achievement of another First World War poet and Catholic convert, David Jones, has been undervalued by literary critics and Catholic commentators alike, but his work provides remarkable evidence of the vital influence religious belief can have on poetic practice.
Journal Article. 6060 words.
Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music
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