In the Day of Battle: Poems of the Great War

In the Day of Battle: Poems of the Great War

In the Day of Battle: Poems of the Great War

In the Day of Battle: Poems of the Great War

Excerpt

Among the books inspired by the war, few need less apology than those of which this little volume is representative, compilations of the more or less fugitive verse appearing at various stages of the struggle in journals, and then perhaps carried off into oblivion by some wind of great events. A compilation captures the winged words and treasures them. It deserves to have an honoured place in the long array of more formidable volumes, for it is undeniable that among the minor results of the Great War is a vast output of war literature. Volumes of history, theory and prophecy weigh down our shelves, pamphlets cover our tables "thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks in Vallombrosa." Among these latter is one on Poetry and War by the Professor of Poetry at Oxford, Sir Herbert Warren, and at the head of his paper we find the suggestive old lines of Samuel Daniel:

What good is like to this -- To do worthy the writing, and to write Worthy the reading and the world's delight?

It is a good motto and sets us thinking of one aspect of this extraordinary epoch of which the end is not yet, namely the relation of its literature to its action. Of deeds worthy the writing we have no lack, of writing . . .

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