25 Apr 2017

"A Chant of Hate against England" - German war poetry

From Anzac Day, 8:27 am on 25 April 2017
Roger Smith

Roger Smith Photo: Gareth Watkins

Wilfred Owen wrote some of the best known poetry of World War One, as a British soldier in 1917. Since then, generations of New Zealanders have had to ponder poems like that in high school English classes, as well as the work of the other so-called 'war poets' like Rupert Brooke and Siegfried Sassoon - all of them British. There was a similar tradition of war poetry among the Germans too, and former RNZ Concert manager Roger Smith has been researching the German tradition of war poetry and, in particular, one notorious poem published in Germany right at the beginning of WW1 in 1914 entitled "A Chant of Hate against England".

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