Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy chooses 100 poems – including those from other conflicts and cultures – to commemorate the Armistice of 1918, and themes of peace and truce more generally.
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The Armistice of 1918 brought ceasefire to the war on the Western Front, but ‘the Great War’ would not as hoped be ‘the war to end all wars’. In this affecting selection, the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, guides us deep into the act and root of ‘armistice’: its stoppage or ‘stand’ of arms, its search for truce and ceasefire. In 100 poems, our most cherished poets of the Great War speak alongside those from other conflicts and cultures, so that we hear some of the lesser-heard voices of war, including wives, families, those left behind. These poems of war and peace memorialise the horror and the tragedy of conflict. At the same time, in armistice, they become a record of renewal and a testimony to hope.
‘It’s a humbling collection, in which personal grief and national tragedy are as inseparable as human resilience and human folly, and even the brightest of futures will have been built on the bones of the fallen.’
'Poetry in [the] first world war was such an extraordinary art form – it reported, in the way that television does now, on experiences that were unimaginable to the people at home.'
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