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Second World War Poetry in English

John Lucas




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John Lucas's new book sets out to challenge the widely-held assumption that the poetry of the Second World War is, at best, a poor relation to that produced by its predecessor. He argues that the best poetry that came out of the 1939-45 war, while very different from the work of Owen, Rosenberg, Gurney, and their contemporaries, is in no sense inferior. It also has different matters to consider. War in the air, war at sea, war beyond Europe, the politics of Empire, democratic accountability - these are no subjects to be found in the poetry of the Great War. Nor is sex. Nor did American poets have much to say about that war, whereas the Americans Randall Jarrell, Anthony Hecht and Louis Simpson, are among the greatest English-speaking poets of World War Two. Both Hecht and Simpson write about the Holocaust and its aftermath, as do the English poets, Lotte Kramer and Gerda Mayer. For these reasons among others, English-speaking poetry of the Second World War deserves to be valued as work of unique importance.


About the author:

John Lucas is a poet, novelist, critic and literary historian who includes among his many books a number of studies of English poetry, including England and Englishness: Poetry and National Identity, 1688-1914, Modern English Poetry: Hardy to Hughes, and Starting to Explain: Twentieth-Century British and Irish Poetry. He is Professor Emeritus at the Universities of Loughborough and Nottingham Trent. In 1994 he began Shoestring Press. Greenwich Exchange also publish John Lucas's biographical and social historical study, The Good that We Do, his novel, Waterdrops, and his monograph on Robert Browning.


236  pages

ISBN: 978-1-906075-78-1

Greenwich Exchange Category: Literature

Series: None



Other books by John Lucas published by Greenwich Exchange:

Portable Property

George Crabbe: A Critical Study

Robert Browning

Shakespeare's Second Tetralogy: Richard II - Henry V

Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale

The Plotting

Summer Nineteen Forty-Five


The Good That We Do