The War Poetry Website
The war poetry website is a resource of war poems of the First World War and more recent conflicts - especially the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan. Many poems are used in Remembrance events - the classic poems and poems by contemporary service personnel. Students of First World War poetry will find the biographical information especially on Wilfred Owen particularly useful. Guide to war poetry books.
To write anything that can respond to the enormity of the needless suffering inflicted on millions of people today - 2023/2024 - is perhaps beyond poetry. We are seeing war beyond war.
War poetry has failed
I thought, 30 or more years ago, that encouraging students and others to read war poetry would "educate" them to the reality of war and help to bring about a peace-loving world. Of course, most of the world and most people do live in peace, but it doesn't take many leaders lacking human feelings to start a war. What can we do?
National Memorial Arboretum sculpture, Alrewas, UK
David Roberts, editor of this website, author and publisher
This is war
What is war?
In the human psyche
it is the fatal flaw,
a perversion of the human mind
turning the morally sighted
the profoundest disrespect
for the sanctity of human life,
the ultimate in racism
and malevolent discrimination.
War is the realm
of the psychopathic leader,
paranoia and collective insanity
the practised liar,
the organiser of public deception.
the derision of dissent,
the sidelining and silencing of dissent,
the corruption of the media.
The makers of arms,
war’s only winners.
they rejoice in secret.
the planned propaganda line
glib answers from unruffled
justifying the destruction of humanity
as an unfortunate necessity
or an act of self-defence.
War is cruelty, horror, pain, suffering,
destruction and monstrous theft,
a negation of civilisation,
the ultimate in criminality,
the ultimate obscenity,
the ultimate crime against humanity,
leap into the abyss.
Saxon Books has specialised in war poetry for over 25 years
War poetry and remembrance titles published by Saxon Books are now available direct at reduced prices
Minds at War - the largest anthology of poetry of the First World War - with a wealth of background information. (Illustrated)
Out in the Dark - a collection of First World War poems in context and with basic notes (Illustrated)
Falklands War Poetry
French Poems of the Great War
Cockerels and Vultures poems by a French First World War poet
Remembrance Poems and Readings
Kosovo War Poetry
Also on this warpoetry website
Our First World War section includes some of the most famous war poems of all time by Wilfred Owen and others. The basic notes provided with some of these poems will be useful for students.
25 First World War poets
Short accounts of their lives, but with fascinating additional details on Wilfred Owen and one or two other poets.
Don't miss the links at the top of the page, above the red boxes - including dropdown menus with many more topics.
Edward Thomas, Rupert Brooke and Thomas Hardy, just three of the poets that you can find biographical information about on this website.
The modern war poems found on this website are mainly by men and women with first hand experience in wars of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. They include poems of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Falklands, Vietnam, Africa and the Israel/Palestine conflict. Some of these poems may be found in the Remembrance section of this website.
Some modern war poems are by men and women affected by war or concerned about its affects. Click here to view list of modern war poetry sections links.
The first wounded - John Lavery's painting. One of dozens of original First World War paintings to be found in We Are The Dead, edited by David Roberts.
The drop-down menus from the menu bar across the top of the page offer dozens of pages of war poetry and information about poets and background to the poems.
Choosing war poetry books
2 April 1982 - 14 June 1982
Britain saves the Falkland Islands from the Argentinian Invasion
40th Anniversary 2022
This was a short war but closely fought war with a devastating impact on the lives of many servicemen and their families. A number of these men wrote poetry at the time and shortly after the war. Poems by three of them appear on this website. There are far more poems by British servicemen, Falkland Islanders, and Argentinians in the Falklands War Poetry collection.