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Siegfried Sassoon

(1886 - 1967 / Kent / England)

Siegfried Sassoon
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Siegfried Sassoon was perhaps the most innocent of the war poets. John Hildebidle has called Sassoon the "accidental hero." Born into a wealthy Jewish family in 1886, Sassoon lived the pastoral life of a young squire: fox-hunting, playing cricket, golfing and writing romantic verses.

Being an innocent, Sassoon's reaction to the realities of the war were all the more bitter and violent -- both his reaction through his poetry and his reaction on the battlefield (where, after the death of fellow officer David Thomas and his brother Hamo at Gallipoli, Sassoon earned the nickname "Mad Jack" for his near-suicidal exploits against the German lines -- in the early manifestation of his ... more »

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Quotations

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  • ''But the past is just the same,—and War's a bloody game. . . .
    Have you forgotten yet? . . .
    Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you'll never
    forget.''
    Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), British poet. Aftermath (l. 7-9). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt, B...
  • ''Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
    With dying eyes and lolling heads, those ashen-gray
    Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?''
    Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), British poet. Aftermath (l. l9-21). . . Modern British Poetry. Louis Untermeyer, ed. (7th rev. ed., 1962) Harcourt,...
  • ''And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
    I'd toddle safely home and die—in bed.''
    Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), British poet. Base Details (l. 9-10). . . Oxford Book of Short Poems, The. P. J. Kavanagh and James Michie, eds. Ox...
  • ''If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
    I'd live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
    And speed glum heroes up the line to death,''
    Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), British poet. Base Details (l. 1-3). . . Oxford Book of Short Poems, The. P. J. Kavanagh and James Michie, eds. Oxf...
  • ''And there'd be no more jokes in Music-halls
    To mock the riddled corpses round Bapaume.''
    Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), British poet. Blighters (l. 7-8). . . Oxford Book of Short Poems, The. P. J. Kavanagh and James Michie, eds. Oxford...
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