War poetry website header pic 2014 A


Modern War Poetry
and poems of the First World War (click to select)

The First World War section includes a few 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. There is biographical information about 25 First World War poets, with substantial amounts on Wilfred Owen in particular.

First World War - A war in Europe was long anticipated by politicians in the UK. More . . .


Folk Song about the First World War

The words to this song were recently posted on the interactive pages of this web site. This is a link to the YouTube recording that the author, Alun Rhys Jones, made of it and the text of the song. I think it is impressive.

David Roberts, Editor.


Bethlehem 2014

Bethlehem, December 2014

Showing the Separation Wall built by the Israelis cutting off Jerusalem from Bethlehem and Palestine as a whole.

This photograph was supplied by the British based Palestinian support organisation, Medical Aid for Palestinians. Link to MAP

A New Birth of Freedom*

Can we create a Christ birth that means care
Of being, human being, everywhere?
My life is your life, let me feel with you
Each thrust of torture and its mortal twist
Beyond, to loss and nothing. Let me be
A means of telling truth. It does exist:
Calling for meaning, change and outcome too.
Knowing what I know, I am you - not me.

Can my being here, so far from your despair,
Have any chance of making this world care -
Reshape the attitude of all who keep
Injustice in their palaces of sleep?
Shall I say yes and let this day of sun
Transform dark into light for everyone?

Sonnet composed by Felicity Currie, 2014, and dedicated to the Palestinians.

* A reference to the Gettysburg address by Abraham Lincoln when he dedicated a new cemetery to the remembrance of soldiers who had died in the American Civil War. The last lines of this read:

"We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."  -  U S President, Abraham Lincoln, November 19th , 1863.

    The song I am learning to sing

i know that no day in history saw
more bullets exchanged than kisses,
and that the love letters written
outnumber those reported ‘missing’.

this is something i need to believe:
arteries pump more life than artillery drains,
and while young people die for fields
that will be ash soon (if not already),

women in white blouses tend flower-boxes
and hug their children tightly, humming lullabies.
if the world ends tomorrow, today
must be full of laundry and laughter

and loves too big to bury.

Anna Leader
The author was seventeen when she wrote this poem

The poem was written for a competition organised by The Poetry Society Young Poets in conjunction with The Freud Museum for its Exhibition "Why War? which took place in October 2014. You can read several other poems that were presented at the exhibition by scrolling to the bottom of the page reached with this link: Poems written by members of the UK Poetry Society’s Young Poets Network, in response to a writing challenge in collaboration with the Freud Museum. 

Remembrance We have a recently discovered poem from the Second World War that is a tribute to lost comrades, and although the details relate to a particular band of brothers the sentiments will be widely understood. The Men I Marched Beside.

Earlier this year

Siren FM
Siren Minds at War banner (part)

Fascinating radio war poetry and history series with over 300 contributors from Lincolnshire which ran for ten days from Tuesday 11 November on community radio station, Siren FM, in Lincoln, UK. Based on the book, Minds at War, edited by David Roberts. The programme contained a great deal of additional material unearthed and often written by contributors. The programme was produced and directed by Ben Pickard.

Readers and contributors include local people from all walks of life including the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire, the Mayors of Lincoln and Grimsby, the Bishop of Grimsby, students from local schools including the William Farr School, and Washingborough Academy. For more information . . .

Minds at War book cover

Minds at War - the Poetry and Experience
of the First World War

 One of the largest anthologies of First World War poetry. Also includes poets' letters, news reports and historical background. Illustrated. Richly informative. It is the main source book for 11 days of readings on Siren FM, with a great deal of additional material -  music, comments, and First World War information unearthed by Siren FM and contributors.

BOOKS For information about anthologies of poetry, collections of poems by specific war poets, and relevant history books please see the bookshop page. For more information about anthologies edited by David Roberts please click a picture link in the left column.


Superb new anthology of modern war poetry, edited by Neil Astley.

100 Years' War cover pic

For review by David Roberts click here.
(The correct page should appear, but if not there will be a link in the top-of-the-page menu,)


Dulce et Decorum Est - a video reading of the poem by David Roberts.  Also, the text of the poem and explanatory notes on it.


War memorials in northern England and Scotland.

A growing collection of photographs by Marguerite Rami shows the wonderful and often moving memorial sculpture and is a strong signal of the greater sense of loss felt in the north of the UK as a result of the First World War. Click to view.

Notes on the History of the First World War. Key events and ideas briefly explained [first section]

British poetry encouraging a fighting spirit before 1914 - new in First World War section

Combat Stress ‏ If you or a loved one served in UK ArmedForces & need to talk about mental health, the 24-hour @CombatStress Helpline is 0800 138 1619  (From Twitter.)

Commemorating the First World War - a new poem

PALESTINE "Weeping tears for Gaza" - The suffering of Palestinians has escalated yet again (July/August 2014). Poetry cannot cope with it. Four new poems.


Palestine - a poem by David Roberts written in 2009 seems relevant today. + personal comments 2014.

Commemorating The First World War

For more information about First World War Commemorative events click here.

War poetry anthology cover
Out in The Dark, Anthology of poetry of the First World War, in context and with basic notes
- especially useful for students.
Tenth printing.

Copyright - When can you use poems of the First World War in public readings, commemorative events etc without infringing copyright laws? A new page on this topic will be added to the website in due course.

Past 2014 events

D Day 70th Anniversary - was 6 June 2014. The heads of 18 states gathered to commemorate the landing of forces that made the breakthrough against Hitler's armies in June 1944. Those present included German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Russian President Vladimir Putin. US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande hosted a joint ceremony in Colleville-sur-Mer.

D Day 70th Anniversary - A new remembrance verse for those who lived on a while after being seriously injured and were not recorded in the memorials of those who died in the fight to liberate France -  by a D Day veteran. Link.

Beyond Wilfred Owen - Soldier Poets of today  -  David Roberts spoke at the The Charles Causley Festival, Launceston's Festival of Literature and the Arts, Saturday 14 June 2014. Service personnel continue to write about matters that deeply concerned Wilfred Owen and with a similar passion for telling the truth, but they write on new topics too, and in styles that Wilfred Owen would not have recognised.  At The Guildhall, Launceston, Cornwall, UK. Saturday 14 June.  "One of the highlights of the festival"  -  Rita Skinner, Launceston Town clerk and  Festival Secretary.
Link to Festival. More about the talk.

PTSD support organisation

(There are many poems on this website, especially in the Falklands section, by soldiers suffering with PTSD.)

War poetry events 2014 and beyond:

War Poetry Events 2014

"New" First World War poet:
A First World War poet to compare with Wilfred Owen  -  discovered in France in 2008

FrenchPoetFirst WorldWar

One of the most talented of all French First World War poets. Who was he? What did he write? Why did he fall into obscurity for 90 years?

Granier book cover

For the first time Paul Granier's collection of poems is published in English in a fine translation by Ian Higgins and is available now.  Visit the War Poetry Website Bookshop for more information, or any bookshop worldwide to place an order.

Read two of Paul Granier's poems.

Visit our  BOOKSHOP page for Cockerels and Vultures and other books of First World War poetry and history.

War Poetry Books for Students


Are you looking for a First  World War anthology that offers greater depth? More . . .

student of war poetry

Are you new to studying the poetry of the First World War?   More . . .

How was it possible for allegedly Christian countries to fight each other in the First World War? More . . .

Americans in the First World War

War Memorials of the First World War - Marguerite Rami  - Photographs of many of the outstanding war memorials in the north of England.

Poppy Fields, France
Main page of Remembrance Poems - link

Pages for you to add your war poems and comments

Powerful poem about his experiences and memories of Iraq in 2007 by Ed Poynter. See 2013 poems.

Also added in 2013 - German Jewish Poetry of the First World War translated into English. Most of these poems have never been published in English till now and most are unknown in Germany.

First World War poetry anthology edited by David Roberts

Cover We are the Dead anthology         

We Are the Dead  takes anthologies of First World War poetry into new areas. It features poems and war paintings from five countries.

This hardback book is lavishly illustrated in colour throughout by the great war artists of The First World War. It contains British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, French and German poetry. It was edited by David Roberts and published by The Red Horse Press in 2012.

A large format book, superbly printed on quality paper.  £25-00. 

See reviews and ratings of Minds at War
on the Good Reads website.

Minds at War book cover

More about Minds at War on the War Poetry website..

A shorter alternative to Minds at War is Out in the Dark.

Link to new page of poems by Curtis D Bennett - former US pilot in Vietnam

Falklands War Poetry(See below.) translated into Spanish
and published in Argentina

The title in Spanish is La Guerra de las Malvinas. It contains most of the poems in Falklands War Poetry and has a few additional poems written in Argentina. The English poems have been translated, edited and produced in Buenos Aires by Sue Littleton who was instrumental in finding the poems from Argentina which feature in Falklands War Poetry. More about this book.

Falklands War poetry anthology

Part of the record of The Falklands War and the effects of war  -  an important part of Britain's modern history.
Thirtieth Anniversary of the war to repel the invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina, April-June  2012

Falklands War Poetry

Falklands War Poetry, edited by David Roberts was published by Saxon Books in spring 2012. Poems are from Britain, the Falkland Islands and Argentina.
For further details, click here.

www.warpoetry.co.uk , the number one in search engines for "war poetry" More. . .

Modern War Poetry

The pages of this website devoted to war poems of today are listed below this introduction.

They include poems of the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Falklands, Vietnam, Africa and the Israel/Palestine conflict. There are remembrance poems, peace poems and anti-war poems too.

The contemporary war poetry on this website expresses a wide variety of views, experience and insights.

Each poet has his or her own distinctive voice. Today's war poets are people involved in warfare, affected by it or concerned about its affects.

WAR POETRY TODAY You can now instantly upload your poems directly to this website yourself. Please see the opening page of this section of the website (WAR POETRY TODAY). Click here to access. On this contributors' page click on "Replies" to read poems placed on the page - the latest war poetry available.

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Issues of war and peace

The Issues index page provides links to

  • Cost of Iraq war

  • background information,

  • videos,

  • discussions of war, peace, politics, international relations, and international law relating to war.

  • The views of Tony Blair, a former Nuremberg prosecutor and a former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and others can be read here.

Most countries do not indulge in warfare. It is a matter of concern and distress to many people in the world that a significant handful of countries, often in defiance of United Nations' principles, are almost constantly at war, either overtly, or through the support and provocation of others.

Warpoetry website developments  More . . .

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Clickable Links to modern war poetry pages on this website

War Poetry Today

  2013 war poetry
2012 war poetry
2011 War Poems and poem videos
2010 War Poems
2009 War Poems
2008 War Poems
2007 War Poems
2006 War Poems
Afghanistan War Poems
Africa War Poems
Arab Spring
Asia (war poems from)
Australia (war poems from)
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Falklands War Poetry
Falklands War Poetry by Bernie Bruen
Falklands War - Graham Cordwell
Iraq War Videos
Iraq - the start of the war - 2003 War Poems
Iraq 2004 War Poems
Iraq and other war poems early 2005
Iraq and other war poems later 2005
Iraq later war poems have been added to
other yearly collections
Israel - War Poems, Elisha Porat
Israel - The persecution of the Jews, War Poems
Israel/Palestine/Gaza violence, War and Peace Poems
Japan (war poems from)
Kosovo War, War Poems
Malvinas War poetry - Spanish
Middle East, War Poems
Northern Ireland, War Poems
Palestine, War Poems
Remembrance Poems
Second World War  poetry
Sierra Leone War, War Poems
Vietnam War, War Poems

Individual contemporary war poets
Poems by
Curtis D Bennett (US) (New page added November 2012)
Michael Brett
Alexis Childs
Bernie Bruen, Falklands
Graham Cordwell, Falklands
Thomas Crofts
Cheryl L Daytec (Philippines - Some Palestine poems)
Maria Deyana 
Maureen Jones (about First World War)
Danny Martin  
Elisha Porat (Israel) 
Marguerite Rami
David Roberts 
Penny Rock (US)
Ann-Marie Spittle 
Poems by Mike Subritzky (NZ)


25 January 2013. Second anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution.

My video poem, written shortly after the victory, suggested that to celebrate before the new leaders had taken over might be premature. See other responses too by clicking here. - David Roberts, Editor.

Arab Spring video poems

Issues of war and peace

Link to Books of war poetry and for writers of war poetry. Books about recent wars and the politics of war and peace. Information and BUY NOW links to best prices.

Video Pages

Videos about the Iraq War 2003 - the bombing

Background to the Iraq War - Videos

Israel/Palestine - Videos

Videos of Poems added 2011

Poetry videos can be found on the Northern Ireland page, the Palestine page, 2011 page and the 2012 page.

Suheir Hammad


Suheir Hammad - See her video speaking her poem, What I will. (An expression of a determination to dissociate herself from what the 9/11 criminals did and everything they stood for. A modern statement of pacifism.)

Quotations about war, peace, and poetry
"It is possible, we now know, for a society to be heir to the knowledge of all the ages, and to use it with the recklessness of a madman and the ferocity of a savage.  .  .   It may master the means to harness nature to its chariot and then employ them to drive with greater speed to the precipice.  .  . "  R H Tawney  -   More. . .

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The War Poetry website popularity  It is number one in Google for war poetry. The War Poetry website is gaining in popularity. On Remembrance Day, 11 November 2010, there were 25,470 visits, in 2011 49,567 visits, and 2012 there were 55,601 visits. In the period 12 November 2011 to 13 November 2012 there were 958,953 visits to The War Poetry website.

Video of former Nuremberg Prosecutor speaking on the illegality of the NATO bombing of Kosovo  From ISSUES (in the left column) you can access the Kosovo page where you can access this unique video. It's a truly historic statement by the late Walter Rockler recorded at the request of the editor in 2000. It is available here for the first time since we placed the video on YouTube in October 2010.

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Prolific American anti-war poet David Martin Click here to link to his website for his many poems which are very critical and cynical about American foreign policy.

This website was last updated
20 December 2014

David Roberts, Editor, The War Poetry website. More . . .
To make contact please see the panel top left of this page for contact link.

About David Roberts

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