Episode Notes S2 E7: Wilfred Owen vs. Siegfried Sassoon *TW: graphic descriptions of war incl. homicide, suicide, corpses, etc. Wilfred Owen – “Dulce et Decorum Est”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46560/dulce-et-decorum-est Siegfried Sassoon – “ ‘Blighters’ ”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57215/blighters Wilfred Owen – “The Sentry”https://poets.org/poem/sentry Siegfried Sassoon – “Attack”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57323/attack-56d23aba391f5 Siegfried Sassoon – “Counter-Attack”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57220/counter-attack Wilfred Owen – “S.I.W.”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57346/s-i-w Siegfried Sassoon – “On Passing the New Menin Gate”https://allpoetry.com/On-Passing-The-New-Menin-Gate Wilfred Owen – “Insensibility”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57258/insensibility Siegfried Sassoon – “Repression of War Experience”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57267/repression-of-war-experience Wilfred Owen – “Disabled”https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/57285/disabled Our first deep dive into First World War poetry considers the need to bear witness, the evolution of realism, the uses and problems of symbolism, anger at civilians, portrayals of mental illness, class, gender, disability, and the development of modernism.Anna judges Owen’s craft; Rachel veges out with Sassoon’s moth; Frank manages to only briefly mention sunrises and seems more interested in talking about rain; we all agree on the significance of these works but refuse to take these men as martyrs or saints. CORRECTION:At one point, Frank uses the term "Edwardian" when he probably means to say "Georgian." As an Americanist, it's a bit tricky to keep track of artistic distinctions based on the names of British kings. REFERENCES and further reading: Caesar, Adrian. “The ‘Human Problem’ in Wilfred Owen’s Poetry.” Critical Quarterly, vol. 29, no. 2, June 1987, pp. 67-84. Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. Oxford, 1975. Hibberd, Dominic. Owen the Poet. U of Georgia, 1986. Hibberd, Dominic. Wilfred Owen: The Last Year (1917-1918). Constable, 1992. March, William. Company K. 1933. U of Alabama, 1989. Owen, Wilfred. The Poems of Wilfred Owen. Edited by Edmund Blunden, 1931. New Classics, 1949. Owen, Wilfred. The Poems of Wilfred Owen. Edited by Jon Stallworthy. Norton, 1986. Pope, Jessie. War Poems. Grant Richards, 1915.https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/jessie-popes-war-poems Sassoon, Siegfried. Counter-Attack and Other Poems. William Heinemann, 1918.https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/counter-attack-and-other-poems-by-siegfried-sassoon Sassoon, Siegfried. The Old Huntsman and Other Poems. William Heinemann, 1917.https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/the-old-huntsman-by-siegfried-sassoon The Pointless Crew:Frank Fucile (he/him/his) – Lit & Theory, Film & Media, Genre, Enviro & Tech Studies //Anna Wendorff (she/her/hers) – Communications, Rhetorics of Sci & Tech, Feminism //Rachel Hamele (she/her/hers) – History, Humanities, Queer Studies, Fandoms //Madalyn McCabe (she/her/hers) – Sound Editing, French, European Studies // T-shirts are now available: http://www.teepublic.com/users/the-pointless-century// Watch us on Instagram: @thePointlessCentury// Troll us on Twitter: @PointlessCent// Support us on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/ThePointlessCentury MUSIC:Refused – “Last Minute Pointer” & “The Slayer” from Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent (Victory/Burning Heart, 1996) ART:Paul Nash, We Are Making a New World. Oil on canvas, 1918. Imperial War Museum. The Manchester Regiment at Serre, France, March 1917. Find out more at https://the-pointless-century.pinecast.co
The complete audiobook is available for purchase at Audible.com:https://adbl.co/3d9Xq5ZPoemsby Wilfred OwenWith an Introduction by Siegfried SassoonNarrated by Denis DalyEnglish literature suffered severely from from the terrible loss of life during the First World War. Among those who suffered untimely death in this period were three significant poets: Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke and James Elroy Flecker (although Flecker was not a casualty of war.) The fame of Owen and Brooke centres largely on their war-focused verse. While Brooke presents war as something of a thrilling, if dangerous "Boys Own" adventure - somewhat in the vein of the adventure novels of John Buchan - Owen's view is based on the gritty and soul-destroying reality of the trenches. Owen's output of finished work was very small: this collection of twenty-three poems contains most of the verse for which he is known today. Few poets have captured more effectively the tragic dichotomy of war, where, for many, survival can be a fate worse than death. The opening poem, "Strange Meeting" describes a posthumous encounter between a soldier and an enemy combatant who he has killed on the previous day. The penultimate poem, "Disabled," is the private lament of a crippled veteran as he helplessly surveys the daily lives of people unscarred by war.
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge, Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs, And towards our distant rest began to trudge. Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots, But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of gas-shells dropping softly behind. Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, But someone still was yelling out and stumbling And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.— Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. In all my dreams before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning. If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace Behind the wagon that we flung him in, And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin; If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs, Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,— My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori. Twitter：@camelliayang Instagram：@camelliayang Clubhouse: @camelliayang Website: https://www.camelliayang.com/
S2E31 Wilfred Owen made a cameo appearance in our last episode, and today we look at him in detail. We discuss his war service, his attitude to life in the trenches, and analyse his strange, unsettling poem, 'Spring Offensive'. Intro: 'Send Me Away With A Smile' by John McCormackOutro: 'Build Me Up Buttercup' by The Foundationswww.patreon.com/earreadthis @earreadthis email@example.com facebook.com/earreadthis
Gillian Clarke, Sabrina Mahfouz and Michael Symmons Roberts respond to the war poet Wilfred Owen with their own new commissions from the Royal Society of Literature. Shahidha Bari hosts a discussion recorded with an audience at the British Library on the 100th anniversary of Owen's death during the crossing of the Sambre–Oise Canal on 4 November 1918, exactly 7 days (almost to the hour) before the signing of the Armistice which ended World War I. Born in Cardiff, Gillian Clarke’s work has been on the GCSE and A Level exam syllabus for the past thirty years. She was the first woman to win the Wilfred Owen Award – for a sustained body of work that includes memorable war poems – in 2012. Sabrina Mahfouz was brought up in London and Cairo, and is a playwright, poet, novelist and editor. She was elected an RSL Fellow in 2018. Poet and Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, Michael Symmons Roberts grew up less than a mile from Greenham Common and has often written about the Cold War ‘peace’.Producer: Fiona McLean