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What can poetry teach us about war?

There can be no area of human experience that has generated a wider range of powerful feelings than war. Jon Stallworthy’s celebrated anthology The New Oxford Book of War Poetry spans from Homer’s Iliad, through the First and Second World Wars, the Vietnam War, and the wars fought since. The new edition, published to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, includes a new introduction and additional poems from David Harsent and Peter Wyton amongst others. In the three videos below Jon Stallworthy discusses the significance and endurance of war poetry. He also talks through his updated selection of poems for the second edition, thirty years after the first.

Jon Stallworthy examines why Britain and America responded very differently through poetry to the outbreak of the Iraq War.

Jon Stallworthy on his favourite war poems, from Thomas Hardy to John Balaban.

As The New Oxford Book of War Poetry enters its second edition, editor Jon Stallworthy talks about his reasons for updating it.

Jon Stallworthy is a poet and Professor Emeritus of English Literature at Oxford University. He is also a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of many distinguished works of poetry, criticism, and translation. Among his books are critical studies of Yeats’s poetry, and prize-winning biographies of Louis MacNiece and Wilfred Owen (hailed by Graham Greene as ‘one of the finest biographies of our time’). He has edited and co-edited numerous anthologies, including the second edition of The New Oxford Book of War Poetry.

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