66 Lines of Poetry That Reflect Early British Optimism for World War One

James Carson

2 mins

09 Nov 2018

World War One created a brilliant canon of poetry. While much of it turned sour as the bloody reality of the conflict became clear, initially great optimism was frequently expressed in verse. The poet Rupert Brooke has often been highlighted as one of the truly patriotic and optimistic poets, but even later bitter poets such as Siegfried Sassoon wrote excited poems at the beginning of the war.

Nick Lloyd, PhD, FRHistS, is Reader in Military and Imperial History at King's College London based at the Joint Services Command & Staff College in Shrivenham, Wiltshire. His new book, Passchendaele: A New History is out now.Listen Now

Here are 66 lines from a variety of poems that we picked out for being particularly optimistic at the start of the war:

thomas-hardy-men-who-march-awayseigfried-sassoon-absolutionthe-days-march-robert-nichollssafety-rupert-brookejulian-grenfell-into-battlethe-soldier-rupert-brookepeace-rupert-brooke-1914charles-sorley-all-the-hills the-volunteerin-memorium-charles-sorley

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