Homer and WWI Poetry – uploaded
In this talk Eleanor OKell explores connections between Homer’s Iliad and a number of World War I poems by classically educated and non-classically educated poets, most of whom were part of or responded to the Gallipolli campaign (1915-1916) on the plains of Homer’s ‘windy Troy’.
Connections revealed will range from quotation (both direct and indirect) to allusion and the talk will discuss ways of differentiating and interpreting these to determine not only the extent of Homer’s influence on modern war poets but also the possible influence of war (in this location) on Homer’s epic.
Poems referred to in the talk will include some by well known and some by lesser known, or indeed unknown, poets. For those who might wish to read the poems in advance (the texts and Homeric material will be provided), the poets and poems focused upon will be: Edward Shillito (A New Iliad), A. P. Herbert (The Bathe), Patrick Shaw Stewart (Achilles in the Trench), an anonymous poem (The Dardanelles) printed by permission of M. Parkinson in These were Men: Poems of the War 1914-18, Seigfried Sassoon (Remorse) and Wilfred Owen (Dulce et decorum est).
Download the Handout (679 kB pdf)
Listen (26 mins 19 secs)
The recording has been edited to remove hesitation, repetition and (where possible) interruptions. The Museum was rather busy (half term), so there is some background noise (more than usual).