The Anti-War Poetry of Herbert Read: “Kneeshaw Goes to War” as an Example

Fuad Abdul Muttaleb


This study aims at investigating the nature of the anti-war poetry of the English poet, Sir Herbert Read (1893 -1968). First, it surveys the different styles that the anti-war poets followed in their criticism of war in an attempt to figure out afterwards the characteristics that distinguish Read’s anti-war poetry from other poetry. It then presents the main features of Read’s anti-war poetry. The study moves on to examine its main objective that lies in analyzing Read’s poem “Kneeshaw Goes to War” (1918) as an example of his own anti-war poetry. This thematic study follows a descriptive and analytical method in carrying out its aim. It starts with an introduction about the different modes of war poetry and literature review, develops into a discussion of Read’s attitude towards the poem’s main subject and comes to an end with the main findings in the conclusion. Read was able to use a realistic approach in his criticism of war in his poem “kneeshaw Goes to War”. In his portrayal of the destructiveness of war, he managed to expressionistically convey his sense of despair that the war had generated in the individual’s personal experience with war. The representation of human experience is thus as important as the anti-war theme itself in the poem.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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