A Soldier Poet, Baring His Soul

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tags: WW I, Siegfried Sassoon

He yearned for “a genuine taste of the horrors.” He never thought he would become a great poet, and if it were “not for mother and friends” he would pray for a “speedy death.” In a place of war, he wrote, “I never thought to find such peace.”

In just one page of handwritten notes from December 1915, Siegfried Sassoon, sometimes called the most innocent of Britain’s war poets, bared a soldier’s soul, writing in a leather-bound notebook from a flyspeck village called Bourecq in northern France, where his company was stationed in “stables dark and damp.”

“My inner life,” he wrote, “is far more real than the hideous realism of this land, the war zone.”

Read entire article at NYT

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