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The Great War: Poets

38 People in group

Although Edward Marsh published the work of those today considered First World War Poets including Robert Ranke Graves and Siegfreid Sassoon, together in the 1917 anthology of Georgian Poetry, many moved in different literary circles and did not identify as part of a group. Rudyard Kipling and Thomas Hardy were considered war poets although they had not served in the military themselves. In contrast, a majority of those considered First World War Poets, served in the trenches of the Western front and became casualties of the conflict. Characterised by their youth, many were from middle-class backgrounds and served as officers. They moved away from the patriotism of war poetry to record the gruesome reality of their experiences and write in protest about a lost generation. The work of the poet Isaac Rosenberg, who grew up amid poverty in London's East End, would only became widely known posthumously. Wilfred Owen and Sassoon met in the aftermath of war at Craiglockhart Hospital and their literary and personal friendship has become one of the most celebrated in history. Recently there has been an increased interest in the more overlooked work of female poets including Vera Britain and Charlotte Mew, increasing our understanding of the experiences of the First World War.

(Joseph) Hilaire Pierre Belloc

Author and poet
Sitter associated with 17 portraits

Vera Brittain

Writer, pacifist and feminist
Sitter in 25 portraits

Rupert Brooke

Sitter in 20 portraits

Gilbert Keith ('G.K.') Chesterton

Poet, novelist and critic
Sitter in 74 portraits

Walter de la Mare

Poet and writer
Sitter in 64 portraits

Ford Madox Ford

Writer and critic
Sitter in 2 portraits

Robert Ranke Graves

Poet and writer
Sitter associated with 37 portraits

Thomas Hardy

Novelist and poet
Sitter in 60 portraits

Alfred Edward ('A.E') Housman

Poet and classical scholar
Sitter in 4 portraits

(Joseph) Rudyard Kipling

Writer and poet
Sitter associated with 39 portraits

Alan Alexander ('A.A.') Milne

Writer, playwright and journalist
Sitter in 43 portraits

Wilfred Owen

Sitter in 1 portrait

Sir Herbert Read

Critic, poet and writer on art
Sitter in 17 portraits

Isaac Rosenberg

Painter and poet
Sitter in 2 portraits | Artist of 1 portrait

Siegfried Loraine Sassoon

Poet and prose writer
Sitter in 86 portraits

William Butler Yeats

Poet and dramatist; son of John Butler Yeats
Sitter in 59 portraits

(Edward Godfree) Richard Aldington

Poet, critic and novelist
Sitter in 9 portraits

Laurence Binyon

Poet and art historian
Sitter in 18 portraits

Edmund Blunden

Poet, writer and teacher
Sitter in 22 portraits

Robert Bridges

Poet Laureate
Sitter in 27 portraits