A Tomb Guard Remembers
by Pasquale with Jen Gordon

"I have come to the borders of sleep."

In this expansive anthology, readers encounter the works of Edward Thomas, Hillaire Belloc, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, and other poets who adeptly captured the World War I experience in verse. These poems communicate the personal and universal conflagrations war developed during this time period. Readers encounter works they may already be familiar with, like Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est.” They also find other familiar poets, like Amy Lowell and her poem “A Ballad of Footmen.”

Lesser-known pieces like Alan Seeger’s “Their Frailty” depict the post-war experience, in which PTSD—known as “shellshock” during World War I—alters a veteran’s life for years to come. Other poems, such as Alan L. Strang’s “Epitaph,” memorialize those who paid the ultimate price for their country and for freedom. In the book’s carefully curated biographies, readers also learn the background stories of the featured poets and their personal connections to war and the military.

Those with a specific interest in war poetry, World War I, and war literature will appreciate this book. It provides a wide overview of the war experience, which continues to influence current foreign policy and veterans’ rights advocacy. Also, the poems stand as a reminder that, sadly, wars have been an inherently human experience with devastating personal and global consequences. Thus, the poems transcend time and speak to modern readers because of their resonance with current events that appear in everyday headlines. This book is also a great tool for educating young readers not only about literature but also about a unique point in history that is being swiftly forgotten.

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