Continuities and Disjunctions: Investigating British Poetry Anthologies of the Second World War

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The article presents an analysis of the marginal cultural positioning of Britsh Second World War poetry by contrast with that of the First World War. It considers this positioning in the context both of longstanding cultural interest in historical and dramatic representations of the 1939-45 war and the extensive post-war use of war poetry in British education and commemorative practices. Taking processes of editorial selection and organization as an additional layer of meaning-making to that of the poetry itself, it briefly identifies taxonomical groupings within the large and varied corpus of war poetry anthologies published during and after the Second World War. An account of the post-war reactions to and constructions of this work is given and the article concludes with the argument that such work represents a rich, important and under-appreciated resource for the understanding of Second World War literature and culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-214
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of War and Culture Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013


  • Second World War poetry
  • war representation
  • war culture
  • anthologies
  • war poetry
  • poetry in film

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  • Activities

    • 1 Invited talk

    ‘This convulsion’: cultural positioning and the poetry of the Second World War’

    Philippa Lyon (Presenter)

    13 Jul 2011

    Activity: External talk or presentationInvited talk


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