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‘This is plenty. This is more than enough’: Poetry and the Memory of the Second World War

Gareth Reeves

in The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry

Published in print February 2009 | ISBN: 9780199559602
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199559602.013.0031

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 ‘This is plenty. This is more than enough’: Poetry and the Memory of the Second World War

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This chapter examines poetry that is written by non-combatants, or those who were too young to be directly involved in World War II, first addressing the issue of war memory and discussing some poets and poems, including Geoffrey Hill's ‘September Song’. It then considers James Fenton's poetry, including ‘A German Requiem’, which is viewed as one of the finest, and most disturbing, English-language poems to have addressed the civilian response to war.

Keywords: war memory; non-combatants; Geoffrey Hill; James Fenton; September Song; German Requiem; civilian response

Article.  6591 words. 

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

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