Sassoon, Siegfried. (1886 - 1967).
L i f e
- enlisted in WW I, fought with a conspicuous courage (Military Cross), but later took a critical view of the war
W o r k
- wrote short and blunt lyrics characteristic with masterly use of direct speech, shock tactics, and bitter irony
- perceives the chasm between those making decisions x those suffering the consequences
- attacks the old men of the army, church, and government responsible for the miseries and murders of the young
“A Soldier’s Declaration” (1917):
- a public statement sent to his commanding officer, announces his defiance of military authority and explains his reasons
“The Redeemer” (1917):
- intermixes religious and secular contexts of suffering
“Base Details” (1918):
- attacks the generals who give orders but avoid battles
“The Glory of Women” (1918):
- accuses the uncomprehending non-combatants
“Repression of the Experience” (1918):
- describes the seeming unnaturalness of life on leave from the front
Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man (1928), Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930), and Sherston’s Progress (1936):
- his prose autobiographical trilogy written from a fictionalised point of view
"I am making this statement as an act of wilful defiance of military authority, because I believe that the War is being deliberately prolonged by those who have the power to end it."
From "A Soldier's Declaration" (1917).
(Sassoon in 1916. Photo: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorSiegfried Loraine Sassoon. (1886 - 1967). British.
WorkPoet. Memoirist. The most resolute anti-war poet.
GenresWar poetry. Satire. Memoires.
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