First World War Poetry

As part of a series marking Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War, reporter, Alison Turner, asked expat actors living in Belgium to read poems about the war, and to discuss their significance

First World War poetry, with Hugh Dow – Break of Day in the Trenches, by Isaac Rosenberg

In this piece, she meets Hugh Dow, who reads ‘Break of Day in the Trenches’, by Isaac Rosenberg (picctured). “These guys were …still teenagers, they were young men, they were boys – so I go back to it if ever I’m not happy with my own lot… It’s humbling, that’s what it is.”

 

 

First World War poetry, with Zigurds Kronbergs – “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen

In this piece, she meets Zigurds Kronbergs, who reads ‘Disabled’, by Wilfred Owen (pictured). Zigurds was born to Latvian immigrants in Corby, Northamptonshire. He offers an insight into growing up in two cultures, and explains that 11th November is remembered in Latvia, but not as Armistice Day.

 

 

First World War poetry, with Graham Vincent – “Dulce et Decorum est” by Wilfred Owen

In this piece, Graham Vincent reads Wilfred Owen’s well known poem, ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’.  Graham tells how his family remembers his great uncle, Trooper Henry Dixon (pictured), who died in the First World War, aged 23, and is buried in France.

 

 

First World War poetry, with Richard Wells – “Peace” by Rupert Brooke

 

In this piece, Richard Wells reads Rupert Brooke’s (pictured)  poem , ‘Peace’. Richard talks about his grandfather who served on battleships during the First World War, an experience which left him profoundly deaf.

 

 

 

First World War poetry – Mental Cases by Wilfred Owen, read by Martin Blackwell

Here, Martin Blackwell reads Wilfred Owen’s (pictured) poem, “Mental Cases”. Owen expresses the ongoing torment for men who have been left severely traumatised by their experiences of war.

 

 

 

First World War poetry – “The End” by Wilfred Owen, read by Mark Prescott

In this piece, Mark Prescott reads Wilfred Owen’s poem, “The End”.  Mark tells of two of his great grandfathers who were killed in the First World War – Sidney Mole and William Prescott, and he discusses the importance of remembrance.

 

 

 

 

First World War Poetry with Dr Kate MacDonald

As part of a series marking Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War, reporter, Alison Turner, talked to Dr Kate Macdonald (pictured) , from the department of English at the University of Gent, about the significance of poetry from the First World War era.  She finds out about the experience of teaching English Literature in Flanders, and how Flemish students understand this poetry.  Dr Macdonald tells the stories of some of the World War One poets, and takes a closer look at their poems.  They look at the work of Wilfred Owen, Helen Hamilton, May Wedderburn Cannan, Rupert Brooke, Ivor Gurney and John McCrae.

 

 

 

 

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