TitleVersed in war
NameHaugh, Rachel Elizabeth (author), Attridge, Derek (chair), Davidson, Harriet (internal member), DeKoven, Marianne (internal member), Eaglestone, Robert (outside member), Rutgers University, Graduate School - New Brunswick,
SubjectLiteratures in English,
War poetry, English,
World War, 1939-1945--Poetry,
English poetry--20th century--History and criticism,
Salamander Oasis Trust
DescriptionThis dissertation describes the collection of poetry by men and women in the British and Commonwealth armed forces written during the Second World War. The project which ultimately became the Salamander Oasis Trust Archive began in Cairo, Egypt in 1942, when three low-ranking servicemen decided to gather poetry for an anthology Oasis: The Middle East Anthology of Poetry from the Forces. Following the war, the editors and contributors gathered to re-form their group, republish the anthology and, over the next twenty years, produce four more. Despite the efforts of the Trust and the vast store of poetry and letters amassed in its archive at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, the Salamander Oasis poems are relatively unknown in literary scholarship. "Versed in War" explores the literary scene in Cairo, the importance of reading and writing among servicemen and women, the writing practices of novice poets as well as the reasons for the unfortunate obscurity of the SOTA poems, including publishing conditions in wartime London, competing beliefs about the place of culture in war, and fixed ideas about poetry which devalue novices' verse.
Drawing upon archival materials, published anthologies and contemporary journals and reviews, this dissertation is intended not only to broaden awareness of the collection and its value to scholars and readers of poetry, but also to frame the poems in ways which suggest their potential as historical and cultural artifacts for enriching our understanding of what poetry means to those who choose it as their mode of expression in the most desperate circumstances of their lives, and to develop as set of questions which make these poems meaningful and relevant to post-war generations of readers.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references (p. 235-241)
CollectionGraduate School - New Brunswick Electronic Theses and Dissertations
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.