Keith Douglas

(January 24, 1920 – June 9, 1944 / Tunbridge Wells, Kent)

Keith Douglas
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Poetry

Douglas described his poetic style as 'extrospective'; that is, he focused on external impressions rather than inner emotions. The result is a poetry which, according to his detractors, can be callous in the midst of war's atrocities. For others, Douglas's work is powerful and unsettling because its exact descriptions eschew egotism and shift the burden of emotion from the poet to the reader. His best poetry is generally considered to rank alongside the twentieth-century's finest soldier-poetry.

In his poem, "Desert Flowers" (1943), Douglas mentions World War I poet Isaac Rosenberg claiming that he is only repeating what "Isaac" has already ... more »

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Comments about Keith Douglas

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  • Gold Star - 9,807 Points Terry Craddock (4/30/2015 9:21:00 PM)

    Superb touch, an exceptionally gifted and underrated poet.

  • Rookie - 3 Points Allan Lindsay (7/27/2013 2:19:00 PM)

    Simply a great poet - who should be greater read

  • Rookie Dick Bird (5/12/2008 9:13:00 PM)

    A very underrated poet, a tragedy enough he should die so young after a not particularly happy early life compounded by the fact that his work is overlooked. His awareness of the humanity of the enemy sets apart from even Owen; his victims are real men with mothers and girlfriends. His poems are technically innovative and his images persist.

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Best Poem of Keith Douglas

Vergissmeinnicht

Three weeks gone and the combatants gone
returning over the nightmare ground
we found the place again, and found
the soldier sprawling in the sun.

The frowning barrel of his gun
overshadowing. As we came on
that day, he hit my tank with one
like the entry of a demon.

Look. Here in the gunpit spoil
the dishonoured picture of his girl
who has put: Steffi. Vergissmeinnicht.
in a copybook gothic script.

We see him almost with content,
abased, and seeming to have paid
and mocked at by his own equipment
that's hard and good when he's ...

Read the full of Vergissmeinnicht

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