Look Back to ‘Gladness’: Nostalgia and Sassoon’s Personal Poems, 1940–5

Robert Hemmings

in Modern Nostalgia

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2008 | ISBN: 9780748633067
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651887 | DOI:
Look Back to ‘Gladness’: Nostalgia and Sassoon’s Personal Poems, 1940–5

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This chapter provides an analysis of some important personal poems, both unpublished and published, from the war years, revealing that, for Sassoon, looking inward was looking back into the past, as well as conflating spatial and temporal metaphorical gestures. His Wiltshire estate – where he withdrew in the middle of the 1930s – was used in his poetry as a setting that brings one back to the past and protects against the fury of the world war. The chapter notes that these poems keep the war at bay, but still present a threat of possible trauma.

Keywords: personal poems; war years; metaphorical gestures; Wiltshire estate; possible trauma

Chapter.  6902 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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