Siegfried Sassoon

(1886—1967) poet and writer

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war Poetry

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began to write the poetry for which he is remembered in the trenches during the First World War; his bleak realism and his contempt for war leaders found expression in his verse. Dispatched as ‘shell‐shocked’ to hospital, he encountered and encouraged W. Owen, and organized a public protest against the war; his war poems appeared in The Old Huntsman (1917) and in Counter‐Attack (1918). Further volumes of poetry published in the 1920s finally established a high reputation, and collections were published in 1947 and 1961. Sassoon was much influenced by G. Herbert and Vaughan. The spare, muted poems in Vigils (1935) and Sequences (1956) are much concerned with spiritual growth. In 1957 he became a Catholic. Meanwhile he was also achieving success as a prose writer. His semi‐autobiographical trilogy (Memoirs of a Fox‐Hunting Man, 1928; Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, 1930; and Sherston's Progress, 1936) were published together as The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston (1937). Sassoon published three autobiographical works: The Old Century and Seven More Years (1938), The Weald of Youth (1942), and Siegfried's Journey (1945). In 1948 he published an important biography of G. Meredith. His attachment to the countryside emerges as a major theme in his post‐1918 works. His diaries 1920–2 and 1915–18, ed. R. Hart‐Davis, were published 1981 and 1983. See also war poetry.

Subjects: Literature.

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Works by Siegfried Sassoon