Beautiful but despondent, the poetry of World War One soldiers capture the defining spirit of a lost generation. This guide provides access to material related to "World War I poetry" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Imagine yourself hunched in a trench, the sound of gunfire loud above you, awaiting the order from your commander to charge. Thoughts of home and the purpose of life plague you, and soon you are thinking in verse. Beautiful but despondent, the poetry of World War One soldiers captures not only the last moments of someone’s life but an entire lost generation. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
March 30, 1916
“The Glories of Fighting” by Captain Julian Grenfall.
January 31, 1918
“In Flanders Fields” by Lieutenant Colonel McCrae and “The Living Answer.
March 23, 1918
“Letters Overseas” – How to write to your beloved soldier.
May 12, 1918
The Sun compares German and English war poetry; War Poems from “The Muse in Arms.”
June 9, 1918
Poems Included in "From the Front," an Appleton Anthology.
July 28, 1918
Masefield’s “August 1914”; Brooke’s “The Soldier”; Seager’s “I Have a Rendezvous With Death.”
October 27, 1918
Robert Nichols remembers his fallen poet comrades.
January 4, 1919
“Appostles of “No Humiliation”” by Seaman; “With Peace Impending” by Stringer.
April 6, 1919
Edgar Lee Masters salutes Robert Nichols in verse.
June 22, 1919
Poems by Richard Aldington.
March 21, 1920
“The Soldier Addresses His Body” by Edgell Rickword.