Friday, November 06, 2009

Remembrance Week 3

The Guardian reports in an interview with the author Michael Morpugo that the papers of Siegfried Sassoon (author of 'Attack', from Wednesday's Chapel talk) are being bought by Cambridge University. Among these papers is the famous 'A Soldier's Declaration', which opens Pat Barker's novel Regeneration, which we have studied several times for the Leaving Certificate.

Morpugo says :- This collection is vital to our understanding of war both then and now. The poets of the first world war – Sassoon, and others like Wilfred Owen and Edward Thomas – evoke the pain and suffering of war in a way that I, when I discovered them aged 14 or 15, found riveting. I was a war baby. Born in 1943, I grew up with the suffering of the second world war all around me. I played in bomb sites, and my mother cried often, mourning the death of the uncle I never knew – Uncle Peter, who was in the RAF and was shot down in 1940, aged 21, and whose photograph was always on the mantelpiece. But it was only when I read Sassoon, and the others, that I realised how extraordinarily brave these soldiers, and these poets, were. They faced down the most difficult thing for any of us to face down: our own mortality.

It's worth reading Morpugo's full piece.

No comments: