By Edmund Blunden
In Undertones of War, one of many best autobiographies to return out of global battle I, the acclaimed poet Edmund Blunden documents his devastating studies in wrestle. After enlisting on the age of twenty, he took half within the disastrous battles on the Somme, Ypres, and Passchendaele, describing them as “murder, not just to the troops yet to their making a song faiths and hopes.”
All the horrors of trench battle, all of the absurdity and feeble makes an attempt to make experience of the battling, all of the strangeness of watching warfare as a writer—of being at the same time soldier and poet—pervade Blunden’s memoir. In steely-eyed prose as richly allusive as any poetry, he tells of the patience and depression chanced on one of the males of his battalion, together with the harrowing acts of bravery that gained him the army Cross.
Now again in print for American readers, the amount incorporates a number of Blunden’s warfare poems that unflinchingly juxtapose loss of life within the trenches with the great thing about Flanders’s fields. Undertones of battle deserves a spot on anyone’s bookshelf among Siegfried Sassoon’s poetry and Robert Graves’s Goodbye to All That.