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Counter-Attack and Other Poems   By: (1886-1967)

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Counter-Attack and Other Poems by Siegfried Sassoon is a powerful collection of war poetry that delves into the harsh realities and psychological impact of World War I. Through vivid and poignant verses, Sassoon captures the horrors of trench warfare, the devastation of lives lost, and the disillusionment that permeated the souls of those who survived.

The collection opens with the titular poem, "Counter-Attack," which immediately immerses the reader into the gripping chaos of battle. Sassoon's use of strong, evocative language creates intense imagery that vividly portrays the terror soldiers faced, their bodies charging through mud and blood, while also questioning the futility of it all. This poem sets the tone for the rest of the collection, where this juxtaposition of brutality and disillusionment remains a constant theme.

One of the remarkable aspects of Sassoon's poetry is his ability to convey the sheer human suffering and emotional toll war inflicts upon soldiers. Poems like "The General," "Lamentations," and "Suicide in the Trenches" explore the inner turmoil of soldiers, depicting the loss of innocence, shattered dreams, and the haunting despair that lingers long after the guns fall silent. His raw and honest portrayal of these emotions serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of war.

Sassoon's protest against the war is also evident throughout the collection. In "The Redeemer," he addresses the hypocrisy of religious rhetoric used to justify the mass destruction and loss of life. His biting criticism of those in power and their callous disregard for human lives is both courageous and thought-provoking.

As a war veteran himself, Sassoon's firsthand experience shines through in these poems. The authenticity and realism he brings to his writing add a depth and authority that resonate profoundly with the reader. His ability to capture the essence of war in a few carefully chosen words is awe-inspiring.

Counter-Attack and Other Poems is a testament to the power of poetry as a means of processing and expressing the complex emotions associated with war. Sassoon's work is as relevant today as it was when it was first published, serving as a reminder of the devastating consequences of armed conflict and the importance of learning from history.

In conclusion, Counter-Attack and Other Poems is a haunting and unforgettable collection of war poetry that captures the harrowing experiences and emotional upheaval of soldiers during World War I. Sassoon's powerful words leave an indelible mark on the reader's psyche, serving as a stark reminder of the price of war and the need for peace. This collection is a must-read for those interested in the profound impact of war on the human spirit.

First Page:

COUNTER ATTACK AND OTHER POEMS

BY SIEGFRIED SASSOON

With An Introduction By Robert Nichols

TO ROBERT ROSS

Dans la trêve desolée de cette matinée, ces hommes qui avaient été tenaillés par la fatigue, fouettés par la pluie, bouleversés par toute une nuit de tonnerre, ces rescapés des volcans et de l'inondation entrevoyaient à quel point la guerre, aussi hideuse au moral qu'au physique, non seulement viole le bon sens, avilit les grandes idées, commande tous les crimes mais ils se rappelaient combien elle avait développé en eux et autour d'eux tous les mauvais instincts sans en excepter un seul; la méchanceté jusqu'au sadisme, l'égoisme jusqu'à la férocité, le besoin de jouir jusqu'à la folie. HENRI BARBUSSE. (Le Feu.)

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION BY ROBERT NICHOLS PRELUDE: THE TROOPS COUNTER ATTACK THE REAR GUARD WIRERS ATTACK DREAMERS HOW TO DIE THE EFFECT TWELVE MONTHS AFTER THE FATHERS BASE DETAILS THE GENERAL LAMENTATIONS DOES IT MATTER? FIGHT TO A FINISH EDITORIAL IMPRESSIONS SUICIDE IN THE TRENCHES GLORY OF WOMEN THEIR FRAILTY THE HAWTHORN TREE THE INVESTITURE TRENCH DUTY BREAK OF DAY TO ANY DEAD OFFICER SICK LEAVE BANISHMENT SONG BOOKS OF THE WAR THRUSHES AUTUMN INVOCATION REPRESSION OF WAR EXPERIENCE THE TRIUMPH SURVIVORS JOY BELLS REMORSE DEAD MUSICIANS THE DREAM IN BARRACKS TOGETHER

INTRODUCTION

Sassoon the Man

In appearance he is tall, big boned, loosely built... Continue reading book >>




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