Rosenberg, Isaac. (1890 - 1918).
L i f e
- born in a humble family of Anglo-Jewish origin
- aspired to be a painter, supported by donors to study art
- enlisted in WW I, killed in action in the last year of the war
W o r k
- early poetry: draws on Jewish history and mythology
- war poetry: successfully uses his visual gifts as a painter
- abounds in vividness: the fierce apprehension of the physical reality of war, the vivid sense of involvement, the exclamatory directness of language
- sparkles with stark and often contrary energy: a detached and curious fascination with the nature of war, with the ravaged men and landscapes, and the imagery around him in the desolation of the trenches
- breaks new ground in imagery, rhythms, and dramatic effects
- associates often dissociated elements: the ‘queer, sardonic rat’, or the dropping poppies ‘whose roots are in men’s veins’
- moves towards a proto-Modernist fragmentation
Night and Day (1912), Youth (1915), and Moses, A Play (1916):
- early pamphlets of poetry published at his own expense
“Returning, We Hear Larks”:
- sees death as natural and as dangerously deceptive as larks singing behind the battlefield
“Break of Day in the Trenches”
“Dead Man’s Dump”
"Poppies whose roots are in man's veins / Drop, and are ever dropping; / But mine in my ear is safe-- / Just a little white with the dust."
From "Break of Day in the Trenches".
(Selfportrait. Source: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorIsaac Rosenberg. (1890 - 1918). British.
WorkPoet. Painter. Author of "Break of Day in the Trenches".
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