An Imagist at War: The Complete War Poems of Richard Aldington

An Imagist at War: The Complete War Poems of Richard Aldington

An Imagist at War: The Complete War Poems of Richard Aldington

An Imagist at War: The Complete War Poems of Richard Aldington

Synopsis

This collection brings together for the first time all the war poems of Richard Aldington. The collection is intended to reaffirm Aldington's position as an important voice in the literature of the First World War. Of the ninety-six poems in the collection, forty-four form the carefully structured sequence of poems that go to make up Aldington's Images of war, published in 1919. These are preceded by seven Early Poems, and followed by twenty-four Additional Poems, and seventeen Prose Poems. Finally, extracts from four longer poems are included. A substantial Introduction includes the following subsections: "War Literature: the Boom Years, " "Death of a Hero, " "Roads to Glory, " "Publishing the War Poems, " "Aldington's War Service, " "Aldington and H.D., " and "Aldington and Imagism." Each of the five groups of poems is preceded by a short introduction containing analyses of and comments upon some of the key poems so as to bring out the qualities and concerns of Aldington's war verse. The book concludes.with a Select Bibliography.

Excerpt

Before approaching Aldington's war poetry it will be useful to consider his later prose writings about the war. His novel, Death of a Hero, 1929, and his collection of short stories, Roads to Glory, 1930, were written and published some time after his war poetry and at the height of the outpouring of novels and memoirs dealing with the war. Aldington saw a thread running through much of his war writing, and he was anxious for others to be aware of this linkage between his poetry and his prose. On 16 March 1933 he wrote to Eric Warman: “You will see how the War Poems [1919] and Fool i’ the Forest [1924] lead up to Death of a Hero [1929].”

The brief analyses of Death of a Hero and Roads to Glory are followed by an outline of Aldington’s war service and of his reaction to this experience as expressed in letters to his first wife and friends, and in his autobiography. the introductory survey of his war poetry covers (a) the writing and publication of the war poems; (b) his emotional and professional relationship with the expatriate American poet, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), to whom he was married; and (c) the role he played in the inception, development, and practice of Imagism. the ninety-six poems are divided into five sections: Early Poems (7), Images of War (44), Additional Poems (24), Prose Poems (17), and Fragments from Longer Poems (4). a short introduction to each of these sections focuses on selected poems that embody the key elements and qualities of Aldington’s war poetry.

War LITERATURE:THE boom years

Richard Aldington is probably best remembered as the author of Death of a Hero. Published in September 1929, this novel—his first—is generally regarded as one of the best of the fictional treatments of the Great War. It lifted him immediately into the . . .

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