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Modern NostalgiaSiegfried Sassoon, Trauma and the Second World War$
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Robert Hemmings

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633067

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633067.001.0001

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Look Back to ‘Gladness’: Nostalgia and Sassoon’s Personal Poems, 1940–5

Look Back to ‘Gladness’: Nostalgia and Sassoon’s Personal Poems, 1940–5

(p.97) 5 Look Back to ‘Gladness’: Nostalgia and Sassoon’s Personal Poems, 1940–5
Modern Nostalgia

Robert Hemmings

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides an analysis of some important personal poems, both unpublished and published, from the war years, revealing that, for Sassoon, looking inward was looking back into the past, as well as conflating spatial and temporal metaphorical gestures. His Wiltshire estate – where he withdrew in the middle of the 1930s – was used in his poetry as a setting that brings one back to the past and protects against the fury of the world war. The chapter notes that these poems keep the war at bay, but still present a threat of possible trauma.

Keywords:   personal poems, war years, metaphorical gestures, Wiltshire estate, possible trauma

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