Sassoon, Siegfried. Counter-Attack: And Other Poems. London: W. Heinemann, 1919.World War I1919
This copy of Siegfried Sassoon’s collection of poems, Counter-Attack and Other Poems, is a 1919 reprinting of the original 1918 edition, published by E.P. Dutton and Company in New York. The binding is made of brown paper over boards, parts of which have begun to chip away. As a decorated officer known for his heroic, often perilous, actions on the battlefield, Sassoon wrote poems that vividly depict his experience in the trenches. Counter-Attack and The Old Huntsman (Sassoon’s first published collection of war poetry, referenced on the title page) mark the transition from his earlier, highly romanticized poetry, and would go on to solidify him as one of the era’s most influential poets. A thorough description of this transition in Sassoon’s work is given in the introduction by fellow soldier-poet and friend, Robert Nichols. The poems in this collection give the reader an up-close account of the graphic horrors of World War I, and signal the departure from the glorification of war. As with volumes by other soldier poets, Sassoon’s Counter-Attack would usher in the cold, fragmented beginnings of modernist literature.