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Siegfried Sassoon 1886 – 1967

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Siegfried Sassoon 1886 – 1967

Siegfried Sassoon was born in a rich Jewish family: he didn’t share the same religion of the other soldier (and poets). During the war he was wounded and hospitalised in Britain; he refused to go back to the front and denounced the war’s horrors. He eventually returned to the front but was wounded again and invalidated home.

His war poetry shows both his great courage and his hatred of war: he became a pacifist and wrote satirical anti-war poems.

Texts:

            ● Glory of Women

It Is a Petrarchan sonnet made up of self-contained stanzas. Focus is here on “reported war” and on the way people at home, under the impact of proanda, visualize the war. The two quatrains are in general addressed to women who idealize their men, and turn them into heroes surrounded by a sort of romantic. Stress is on such words as “decoration”, “chivalry”, “delight”, “fondly” and “ardours”, contrasted, though ironically, with the paradox “you make us shells”. Though indirectly, Sassoon describes the horrors of war, with the “heroes” panic-struck and trampling, in their inglorious retreat, even the corpses of their companions. The tragic realism is purposely contrasted with the “dreaming” of the German mother; she, however, sharing the same hopes and despair as other English mothers, becomes the symbol of all mothers whose sons, involved in the same tragic ordeal, are united in a sort of brotherhood that transcends all barriers of nationality.





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