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Ivor Gurney - Trapped in Memory

            During the early 20th century, Britain began to see the spread of education, across all levels of society, molding the public to be more literate. In the 1930's, Britain saw a boom in literature publications with poets writing about and during the war. The horrors of World War 1 created an immense market allowing British authors, both professionals and amateurs, the leeway to express what they witnessed in the frontline (Das 9). However, only a few are still known and remembered today for their unique and fascinating technique of delivery. Among those: Ivor Gurney, whose development of poems of originality, broken poetic form, urgency for change in attitude and disruptiveness call of the war, has made him one of the great World War I poets. Gurney, born in Gloucester, England, possessed a dynamic personality that was troubled by mood swings that became worse after his participation in the war. This traumatic combat led to Gurney's change of thinking and transformation of language, evoking a new broken stream of expression and consciousness, attributes of modernism (10). His first collection of poetry, "Seven and Somme" (1917) reflects his experience during the war and his love for the countryside-Gloucester, which remains somewhat consistent in his later poems.
             In analyzing his early work, Gurney's own combat experience and music sensibility is greatly defined in his poem structure and brief modernity of expression. Two poems well known for evincing Gurney's attitude toward WW1 during the early 20th century are "Two His Love" & "The Silent One." Both poems engage in ambiguous word usage, pastoral images and sense of realism, which draw attention to his vivid lyrics and elusive quality of style. "To His Love" is a monologue in which one soldier (perhaps Gurney), speaks to the girlfriend of a dead soldier about morning the loss and regretting they will both never enjoy the soldiers company again (Greenblatt 2028).

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