Professor Tim Kendall considers what composer and poet Ivor Gurney understood by the phrase 'war poet' and how he saw his own work as belonging to (and eminent amidst) a tradition of writing about war.
Tim Kendall examines the ways in which Gurney represents poetry, and the figure of the poet, in his own work; and assesses Gurney's hopes for the efficacy of such poetry - whether as acts of witness, of escapism, or of political intervention. Tim Kendall is Professor of English Literature at the University of Exeter and editor of The Oxford Handbook of British and Irish War Poetry (Oxford Handbooks of Literature) and author of Modern English War Poetry. The paper was presented at the First World War Literature, Music and Memory Conference held at King's College, Cambridge on the 11th and 12th July, 2009. Recording courtesy of Silvia Perucchetti.