Robert Graves: The Reluctant First World War Poet

Peter Parker at The New Statesman:

“My experiences in the First World War have haunted me all my life,” Edmund Blunden confessed the year before he died, “and for many days I have, it seemed, lived in that world rather than this.” Siegfried Sassoon felt much the same, and despite producing many volumes of verse on other topics both men would continue to be fêted as war poets.

In contrast, the war was a major part of the All That to which their erstwhile friend and fellow soldier Robert Graves attempted to say Good-bye in his celebrated 1929 memoir, and he would thereafter excise his war poetry from selected and collected editions of his poems. As a result, this poetry is less well known than that of his peers. Charles Mundye’s excellent Robert Graves:  War Poems (2016) showed just how many of them there were, and this first volume of Jean Moorcroft Wilson’s new biography convincingly makes the case for Graves as a major war poet, however much he attempted to escape that role.

more here.