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on 27 August 2008
A modest albeit low budget but very enjoyable little documentary made realy special by the towering presence of the great Brian Blessed a man imbued with more character than any other ten narraters you could think of. The discussion of the poetry is interesting the readings are great particularly Mr Blessed's and for under a fiver you couldnt do better if like me you are fascinated by the war poets.

Kind Regards

Jim Clark aka poetryanimations at youtube where you can see all the major war poets reincarnated and reading their most famous poems plus hundreds of other great poets
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Between them Prof Stallworthy and Brian Blessed provide a superb inight into the emergence of war poetry dating back to the days of the Anglo Saxons and then moving steadily and coherently forwards through historical time to the poetry of more recent events and ages. This puts the poetry of WWI into a coherent historical and social perspective.

Within the space fof an hour, the amount of ground covered is immense and yet it doesn't feel as if you are skimmed lightly over the surface. The stark reality of earliest war poetry written by Anglo Saxons and Welsh poets and bards moves forwards into the eras of romanticism and jingoism when poetry about war lost touch with warfield reality in favour of national fervour and misplaced ideals and distortions of historical valour and knightly prowess. Prof Stallworthy clearly explains why and how it was that the emergence in WWI of poetry by soldiers rather than officers spread before world increasingly brutal, but beautifully crafted, images of war and the lives of soldiers in the field.

I'm not a massive fan of Brian Blessed when he goes into hyperdrive, but all credit to him here, as his performances only rage when appropriate. He uses his voice and acting skills to perfection. His final reading of 'Dulce et decorum est' is shattering.

So - if you only want to look at poetry written during WWI, then maybe this isn't the DVD for you. But if you want poetry of that age and war set into a historical contrast, I heartily recommend this brilliant DVD.
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on 25 April 2014
It is not easy to cover such a profound and immense topic as war poetry in an hour, but this DVD succeeds. Covering poetry from the Anglo-Saxon Battle of Maldon, through to the First World War. The explosive presentation of Brian Blessed is sufficiently reigned in to ensure that his readings are a powerful performance, not to be forgotten.
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on 18 May 2014
Tried to watch it; thought it would be good for use at GCSE level but was quickly bored by the forced gravitas of the readings (plus the narration). Have to be honest....flicked through it. Won't be using it in school.
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on 31 January 2011
Having searched through the vast list of available DVDs on the War Poets I thought I'd at last found the right one when I read the Amazon description of "The War Poets" narrated by Brian Blessed,describing it as".............. poetry of Owen,Brooke and Sassoon read over film footage of the war." I expected and looked forward to just that.To sit down and enjoy listening to the haunting verse of 'The Soldier' or suchlike read in the deep tones of Blessed with archive film of WW1 showing? However instead of this I got in its place extracts of Herman Melvilles' 'Shiloh' relating to the American Civil War, Alfred'Lord Tennysons 'Charge of the Light Brigade' about the Battle of Balaclava none of which I really wanted as I already had specialist DVDs containing these.There were also mention of Kipling,Newbolt, Isaac Rosenberg and John McRae among others and much input from a Jon Stallworthy, a reader of Eng.Lit at Oxford.Univ.throughout the DVD? The one thing this DVD is NOT is simply the poetry of Wilfred Owen,Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon read over film footage of the First World War!
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on 15 June 2014
I found this a very useful overview of British war poets and poetry, the WW1 poetry taking up the last 20 odd minutes. john
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on 6 April 2010
bought to help with GCSE on war poets for which it wasnt really any help, lots of brian blessed in war settings with some footage too, but it was a very good price and lots of poems
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on 30 September 2010
Horrible product. It will not play at all on any DVD player. This is the second time I have purchased this product but from two different stores. I returned it two weeks ago to amazon.com and have not heard anything sensible. It may actually be narrated by Brian Cursed and not by Brian Blessed.
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