THE WAR POETRY WEBSITE
The first substantial collection of French poetry of the First World War translated into English.
It is astonishing that for almost a century the English-
This moving and wide-
Published by Saxon Books
190 Pages paperback
Cockerels and Vultures -
The chance finding of a 90-
Cockerels and Vultures is a book for everyone interested in the poetry of the First World War.
Published 2013 by Saxon Books in paperback at £9-
His volume of war poetry, Les Coqs et les Vautours, had just been published in Paris. It was singled out for praise by the Académie Française in 1918 before falling, unaccountably, into obscurity.
Since the dramatic rediscovery of Albert-
Cockerels and Vultures
“By 1914 French poetry had come much further along the path of modernism than British poetry. Where many of the British combatant war poets struggled at first to find the language and forms through which to convey their experience of modern industrial warfare, a young poet like Granier could employ a rhythmic free verse with ease and animate his battle scenes and war-
These are the poems of a Frenchman in another sense too: they vividly depict a landscape and culture that have been destroyed and their mood varies from pathos to horror as Granier observes processions of refugees, abandoned dogs, burnt-
They are also the poems of a soldier and an artilleryman. The big guns are portrayed animalistically, in dramatic but fine detail, as they blunder through tiny villages at night, a ‘deadweight cortege of death’ (‘The Mortars’), or in battle ‘rear their black necks like snakes striking,/Spewing
hatred by the mouthful’ (‘The Battle’). And yet, as they ‘stop for breath’, the battle over, the poet cannot refrain from ‘lovingly, gently’ patting ‘the weary guns’. In ‘The Fort’, the determination with which Fort Troyon at Verdun was held in September 1914 is celebrated. The paradoxes of war are here, as well as all its deadly and surreal power.” -
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We Are The Dead, A book of First World War poems which contains some of Ian Higgins’ translations.
Also translated by Ian Higgins, a book discovered after 90 years of obscurity: