Another Kind of Bad Poetry

Filed under: Web Links; in the year 2015, on the 3rd day of May at 6:12 pm

An interesting article on the BBC News website on Friday profiled Jessie Pope, a poet today’s schoolchildren (apparently) love to hate.

Ms Pope’s verse is not quite in the McGonagall class – it’s quite competent in fact – but the sentiments she expresses aren’t quite what we’ve come to feel about the first world war:

Who knows it won’t be a picnic – not much-
Yet eagerly shoulders a gun?
Who would much rather come back with a crutch
Than lie low and be out of the fun?

The above being typical of the jingoistic verses she published in the Daily Mail and in three wartime anthologies between 1916 and 1917. Poor Jessie suffers rather by comparison with the likes of  Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, the latter being inspired to pen Dulce et Decorum Est in response to her work.

One shudders to think what a certain poet and tragedian would have made of the Great War had he lived to see it.