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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so-called 'flaws' in this book
Mr Watson above gives my book five stars - yes, I'm the editor - for which I'm grateful, but says that it's 'flawed' because it has no 'index for titles' and no 'contents page grouping the poets' work together'.
For the record, I'd just like to mention that the index in the book lists both titles and first lines - click on Index in the Look Inside function above to...
Published on 19 Feb 2010 by George Walter

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Broken layout on Kindle version
The Kindle version is sadly spoiled by the line numbers, which always appear indented on the following line. For example (I have to use the '~' symbol to illustrate white space here, because extra spaces in the review get deleted):

//
For his teeth seem for laughing round an apple.
~~~~~~~~~~~10~~~~~~~~There lurk no claws behind his fingers...
Published on 1 Feb 2012 by I. Underwood


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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars so-called 'flaws' in this book, 19 Feb 2010
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This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Mr Watson above gives my book five stars - yes, I'm the editor - for which I'm grateful, but says that it's 'flawed' because it has no 'index for titles' and no 'contents page grouping the poets' work together'.
For the record, I'd just like to mention that the index in the book lists both titles and first lines - click on Index in the Look Inside function above to see it - and the alphabetical Biographies section does in fact list all the poems included for each individual poet; anyone searching for a particular poet's work can then cross reference by title using the index.
I know it's a bit cheeky to give my own book five stars, but I really did try to make it as reader-friendly as possible...
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Penguin Book of First World War Poetry, 20 Feb 2010
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N. Carey (Nova Scotia, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I bought this book because it was needed for an online course that I am studying. I had a library copy but decided to buy my own as I thought I would use it again. The book gives small bios of the poets which is useful. The poems are separated into different periods of the war, for example, training and early days of the war. This is helpful but there is no alphabetical list of poets which makes it a little difficult if you are looking for a poet rather than a specific poem. Overall though, I am pleased with it and will use it in the future.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best WW1 poetry anthology in print, 27 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
With a vast army of well-educated men on the Western Front experiencing one of the nastiest wars of all time, it is hardly surprising that a positive glut of poetry resulted. How to choose which ones to include in a single volume?

George Walter does better than any of his predecessors in striking a balance between the ones we all know (and naturally expect to be in such an anthology, especially if schools are to use it as a text-book, as penguin clearly intended), and lesser known-works from lesser-known poets.

The poems are organised thematically, which makes perfect sense, and there are biographical notes on each poet. There is a glossary of places and technical matters and an index of titles and first lines. All that is missing is an index of authors - finding the works of a particular poet, if one doesn't know title or first line, becomes tiresome.

Walter starts with a masterful essay on the poem in WW1, and in passing laments the teaching of the cliched half-truths that everyone thinks they know about the Great War, and the way that poetry is used in this deceit as historical evidence, rather than being appreciated as an art-form in itself.

Anyone wanting a single volume to get them started on the study of WW1 poetry, or who just requires a single volume with all the classics for teaching purposes, could not do better than to furnish themselves with this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Broken layout on Kindle version, 1 Feb 2012
By 
I. Underwood - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
The Kindle version is sadly spoiled by the line numbers, which always appear indented on the following line. For example (I have to use the '~' symbol to illustrate white space here, because extra spaces in the review get deleted):

//
For his teeth seem for laughing round an apple.
~~~~~~~~~~~10~~~~~~~~There lurk no claws behind his fingers supple;
//

This is a pity, not least because it causes many lines to break unnecessarily.

Note that this is genuinely a problem with the layout of the text; setting the font size to minimum and switiching to a landscape layout, which gives ample room for each line, does nothing to solve this issue.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the book itself has flaws but the poetry is brilliant., 29 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
World war 1 poetry is some of the most powerful and poignant in the history of literature, and in this book you will find some of the greatest pieces of poetry. including the great war poets such as: Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, Rudyard Kipling, and others... As i mentioned previously the poetry is brilliant and this cannot be stressed enough (of course there are some poems which aren't so great). But the flaw lies in the fact that there is no contents page grouping the poets' work together. Or an index for titles (an index for opening lines instead). But apart from this the book is pretty damn good the extra tiddly bits of information are a welcome feature; including info on the poets lives. Anyway the poetry in the book is great and the extra bits of info override the flaw of their being no poets' index.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars War poems., 19 May 2013
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This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Gave this book to a teenage grandson who had been on a school visit to Ypres. He was delighted and is working his way through it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An important document of how World War One was experienced by a wide range of articulate and thoughtful people, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Some very interesting information in the introduction that I hadn't realised. It's all quite obvious in retrospect but it was still a series of lightbulb moments for me so I'll make reference to it. The reason why there were hundreds of thousands of poems written and published during World War One was because:

- poetry was for most of Edwardian society, a part of everyday life;
- The media was also almost wholly print-based (cinema was still very much in its infancy);
- Victorian and Edwardian educational reforms resulted in increased literacy;
- the army which Britain sent to fight was the most widely and deeply educated in her history.

I find it very hard to imagine an era when poetry was so much a part of day-to-day life. Although I have never learnt the skill of appreciating poetry, as I read through a succession of these poems, and triggered by certain words or phrases, I started to get images of a grim, kaleidoscopic mix of lice, blood, death, patriotic songs, mad, futility, despair, absurdity, sickness, fear etc. It proved to be a powerful and moving experience.

As I was reading this book, I was also reading Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves. Sometimes the two books worked in tandem. Robert Graves describes the horror of The Battle of Loos and there - in this volume - are poems inspired by Loos.

One very small but moving moment was reading a poem written by Rudyard Kipling. When he actively encouraged his young son John to go to war he was expecting triumph and heroism. John died in the First World War, at the Battle of Loos in September 1915, at age 18. After his son's death, Kipling wrote...

If any question why we died / Tell them, because our fathers lied.

An important document of how World War One was experienced by a wide range of articulate and thoughtful people that brings the experience vividly to life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, 27 Mar 2013
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This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Needed this for A level, and I got an A overall, a very good and awesome book. Poems are very heartfelt.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sack the "compositor", 29 Mar 2012
What a disappointment. The appreciation of the verse is marred by the infuriating inclusion of line numbers every tenth line which shunts the text over to the right. Even the Text to Speach does not escape. The mitre is lost as the robotic voice acurately reads out the pesky line number in mid flow.
A revised version. properly laid out. with no line numbers should be distributed as a free upgrade.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars awesome!, 21 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
I found this book by George Walter to be funny, sad, enlightening, and above all deeply moving. The collection of poetry had been well researched and laid out in such a way as to make it extremely readable. The detailed notes at the back of the book show that Mr Walter has a deep knowledge of his chosen subject. I would recommend every age group from eight to a hundred and eight to read this book because it will give them a deeper understanding of life in the trenches during the first world war. Having met George Walter, I found him to be a quiet, unassuming man despite his awesomeness.
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The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics)
The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry (Penguin Classics) by Various contributors (Paperback - 26 Oct 2006)
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