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The Best War Poems Everyone Should Read

10 classic war poems from Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and others

There are many great war poems out there and there have been a great number of popular war poets. Putting together a universal list of the best war poems raises all sorts of questions, but since such a list will always be a matter of personal taste balanced with more objective matters such as ‘influence’ and ‘popularity with anthologists’, we hope you’ll forgive the presumptuous title ‘best war poems’. In the list that follows, we’ve endeavoured to offer a mix of the canonical and the under-appreciated (‘Dreamers’ is not as famous in Sassoon’s oeuvre as ‘Everyone Sang’, but we think it’s a fine poem that deserves to be read by more people). We’ve also tried to include poems which we’ve found particularly interesting. To make it easier to select just ten great war poems, we’ve limited ourselves to the First World War (though several were written many decades later), but this is not to deny that there have been many stirring and successful poems written about other conflicts. As ever, we’d love to hear your suggestions for the best war poems which you’d recommend. If you want to read the poems listed below, we’ve provided a link (on the poem’s title) which will take you through to it. Read the rest of this entry