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Voices of Silence: The Alternative Book of First World War Poetry [Paperback]

Vivien Noakes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct 2008
The poetry of the First World War has determined our perception of the war itself. This volume features poetry drawn from old newspapers and journals, trench and hospital magazines, individual volumes of verse, gift books, postcards, and a manuscript magazine put together by conscientious objectors.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: History Press (Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750945222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750945226
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Product Description

About the Author

Vivien Noakes has a doctorate in the poetry of the First World War poet, Isaac Rosenberg, and has edited the definitive edition of Rosenberg's poetry for the Oxford University Press. She is the leading authority on the life and work of the nonsense poet and painter, Edward Lear, and her book Edward Lear: The Life of a Wanderer has recently been reissued by Sutton. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite must read 17 Nov 2006
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Most anthologies of WW1 poetry concentrate on the well-known poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Ivan Gurney. This book doesn't. Instead it looks mainly at the writings of the common Tommy in the trenches (who nevertheless must have been pretty literate). Other interesting poems are from the despised conscientious objectors which were often circulated on smuggled magazines.

The book takes a chronlogical approach and each section has a brief and useful summary of the major events that formed that time period which then also act as the themes for the sections.

Some of the poems are caustic, some humorous; all are poignant. It's fascinating to see such gems produced under such cataclysmic circumstances.

I can't recommend this book highly enough. You can dip into it; read whole sections, or read it from cover to cover.It's immensely enriching and ultimately uplifting to hear these voices from the past.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing work 15 Mar 2007
I loved this book. It is the best book of world war one poetry available. There are

poems from officers and also personal ones from squaddies to their loved ones at home. Some

of it is so very moving, but some of the poems are very funny.This is a book that you can

read in one go or keep to hand to dip in and out of always finding something wonderful.

David Myers
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5.0 out of 5 stars Voices often ignored, from the Great War 6 April 2011
This is a truly interesting collection of verse from WWI Britain. The points of view are kaleidoscopic, from gung-ho armchair warriors to weary trench fodder to conscientious objectors to women waiting at home. One caveat: some entries fail utterly as poetry. I think these duds are more than counterbalanced by the real gems here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Important Book 6 Dec 2010
Without exageration this is an important book. It gives the lie to the belief that all Great War poets were anguished pacifists - their political range was much more varied, and in subject matter they covered much more than the 'pity of war.' I, for instance, was much taken by Willoughby Weavings verses on birds in the trenches in this anthology. A classic.
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