Strange Meetings provides a highly original account of the War Poets of 1914-1918, written through a series of actual encounters, or near-encounters, from Siegfried Sassoon’s first, blushing meeting with Rupert Brooke over kidneys and bacon at Eddie Marsh’s breakfasts before the war, through famous moments like Sassoon’s encouragement of Owen when both are in hospital at the same time, on to the last, strange lunch and ‘longish talk’ of Sasoon and David Jones in 1964, half a century after the Great War began.
Among the other poets and writers we encounter are Vera Brittain and Roland Leighton, Robert Graves, Isaac Rosenberg, Robert Nichols and Edmund Blunden. We follow their relationships, marking their response to each other’s work and showing how these affected their own poetry.
We come to know each of the poets, their family and intellectual backgrounds and their very different personalities. We get a fresh sense of Georgian poetry, conveying all the excitement and frustration of poetic creation, and demonstrating how the whole notion of what poetry should be ‘about’ became fractured and changed for ever by the terrible experiences of the war.
‘Constantly engaging, amiable account of one of the golden periods of English poetry.’ Literary Review
‘Beautifully written and elegant’ Daily Express
‘Fascinating’ Independentshow more