Anthologizing War

Hugh Haughton

in The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199559602
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Anthologizing War

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter discusses the anthology of war, which it views as a political protest and an expression of solidarity during a time of national crisis. It states that anthologies serve as a way to sew poems together, and shows that these have played a central role in the creation and revision of the concepts of the ‘war poem’ and ‘war poet’. The chapter emphasizes that without the huge investment in war poetry, it is most likely that the works of Rosenberg, Owen, Sassoon, Auden, and Douglas would not have survived the two World Wars, and then looks at the role poetry played in making Britain as an ‘imagined community’. It also takes a look at the ‘Iconoclastic’ war poetry, the return of war poetry during the 1960s, and the 1960 anthologies of the Second World War verse.

Keywords: war anthology; political protest; national crisis; war poem; war poet; imagined community; Iconoclastic war poetry; 1960 anthologies; Second World War

Article.  12167 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets) ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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