Published online by Cambridge University Press: 23 January 2021
American poetry of the First World War is best known through a very small number of poems by the modernists Ezra Pound and E. E. Cummings. But the war provided the occasion for a huge amount of poetry. This poetry was written in a variety of forms and expressed a wide range of opinions about the war. Open and closed forms, dialect and formal verse provided media through which the war was imagined for and explained to the reading public. Just as the range of forms is wide, so too is the range of poets: early modernists (Carl Sandburg, Vachel Lindsay) and established popular writers (Everard Jack Appleton, Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews) as well as obscure amateurs (Lindley Grant Long, Walter E. Seward). And while American poetry did not produce a Wilfred Owen or Siegfried Sassoon, it did produce a number of solder-poets such as Alan Seeger, Byron H. Comstock, and John Allan Wyeth whose work ranges as widely in kind and outlook as does the broader corpus.
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