“And I am rich….”

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Dr Richard Ormrod

“And I am rich in all that I have lost.”  Siegfried Sassoon

As part of the Rye Arts Festival the Methodist church in Rye was full on Tuesday,  September 14 to hear Dr Richard Ormrod talk about the war poets of Kent and Sussex: Kipling and Sassoon from the first world war and Keyes and Douglas from the second world war. These soldier writers form part of his interest in 20th century war poetry as a whole, to be featured in a forthcoming book, ‘In Defence of the Realm’.

While many of us listening will have been familiar with the first two of these four poets the latter two were a revelation and many will surely have been inspired to go away and do further reading. Explaining the extraordinary flowering of verse writing in response to the first world war Dr Ormrod remarked: “By comparison with the Napoleonic, this was a dreadful war of an utterly different kind. Soldiers, especially officers, went into it full of noble ideals but in the awful reality of it was forged this brilliant and moving verse.”

Image Credits: Martin Bruce .

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