Vivien Noakes 1937-2011

Voices of Silence

I was saddened to read in today’s Guardian an obituary for Vivien Noakes.

Her anthology Voices of Silence is one of the most valuable (and enjoyable) books of WW1 poetry, since it looks beyond the usual literary sources, to include pieces mostly by people who would not have considered themselves poets, but were stirred into writing by the times. Some critics have been sniffy about the quality of the verse, but the book communicates superbly the feelings and preoccupations of the times.

Her Oxford edition of  Rosenberg’s writings is also immensely valuable, gathering all his work together for, I think, the first time, so that we can understand how his astonishing war poems developed from his early work.

Vivien Noakes brought a fresh eye to the study of WW1 literature (as she had earlier done to Edward Lear). She will be missed.

One Comment

  1. Posted March 5, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    read some of the poems, and the Introduction to Rosenberg on Amazon. it’s a bit pricey for me just now, but I plan to get it as soon as my income improves. Thanks for this post:) Ms.


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