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The first half of the Twentieth Century witnessed two catastrophic global conflicts, with suffering on a scale that - thankfully - later generations find hard to comprehend. The full story of what it was like to endure these wars might never be told, because many who survived chose not to speak - or could not speak - of what they saw and suffered. But some could turn to poetry, to try to make sense of what was happening. From the Line brings together the best of Scotland's poetry from the two World Wars: 138 poems, from fifty-six poets, are represented here, from both men and women, from battlefields across the world and from the Home Front, too. There is dread in these lines as poets reflect on the loss of peace, or mourn the death of friends and comrades. Some tell of traumas that can never be shaken off, others of an intensity that would never be found again - but there is hope, too, and moments of humour, compassion and decency that survived the worst.
Association for Scottish Literary Studies
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