Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. Catherine Elick

Degree Award Date

Fall 2009


Poets, Great War, World War I, poetic pacifists, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Graves


English Language and Literature | Literature in English, British Isles | Poetry


Despite their different backgrounds and attitudes towards war, these five poets, even including Brooke, are united most importantly in their attempts at expressing the significance of the war through poetry. They all participated in the transformation of poetic traditions in an attempt to express the inexpressible circumstances of trench warfare. Though they all did this in different ways, some more traditional than others, they each helped contribute to the creation of modern poetry as they abandoned elements of poetic traditions for new forms and material better able to express the horrors, images, and emotions of the Great War.