3.1.7 War poetry in the twentieth century
The futility of the First World War, and the waste and destruction it caused, hold an important place in British memory. These bleak and harrowing wartime portrayals of shell shock did not immediately reach large numbers of the public, however.
Although Owen is one of the best-known poets of the war in Britain today, his work was not widely known during the war and did not begin to achieve widespread acclaim until the 1930s. His work became part of the school national curriculum in the 1960s, and generations since have been raised on this poetry.