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Georgian

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Georgian

With a love of nature and a penchant for traditional forms of poetry, Georgian poets can be very much seen as the Romantics of their time. The movement included esteemed poets such as Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon and D.H. Lawrence. Here we will look at the movement and its history, also looking at the poets and examples of their work.

The Romantics were a group of 18th-century poets who believed in the beauty of nature and the power of the individual.

Georgian poetry movement

The Georgian poets were a collective of British poets who predominantly worked during the reign of King George V. The poets' work was anthologised in several volumes in the years between 1910 and 1922, each known as Georgian Poetry. Some of the Georgian poets included the writers; Robert Graves, Edmund Charles Blunden, D.H. Lawrence and Siegfried Sassoon, among its more famous poets.

The Georgian poets arrived between two important movements in poetry, the Aestheticism of the Victorian period and Modernism, which followed the outbreak of the First World War. Georgian poetry was seen as a rejection of Aestheticism and the movement's motto 'art for art's sake' and its devotion to unnatural beauty. The work of the Georgian poets was often romantic and sentimental, and it has often been described as 'innocent'.

Aestheticism was an art movement of the late 19th century that believed that art should value beauty over meaning.

Modernism was an art movement that became prominent after the First World War. Modernists looked to move away from traditional forms of storytelling and to experiment more in their art.

The anthologies produced were central to the Georgian poetry movement. Poet Rupert Brooke and editor Edward Marsh had a desire to make their poetry more accessible to a wider audience. There were five anthologies published between the years 1911 and 1922. The poems within these volumes would use traditional forms and techniques. Georgian poetry would often use strict meter and rhymes.

GeorgianPoets,GeorgeV,StudySmarterThe Georgian poets take their name from the reign of King George V. Pixabay.com

Georgian history

The Georgian period in history runs from 1910 up until the death of King George V in 1936. It was a turbulent time in British history, the First World War began in 1914. The years following the war saw an increasing rise in fascism that preceded World War II. It was also a period of rising communism and socialism, which brought fear to the British elite. Both Ireland and India began movements to gain independence from Great Britain and its empire.

In literature, the Georgian period was known for the emergence of Modernism. Modernism was a movement where writers began to experiment with new ways to present stories or tell their poetry. Writers such as Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot were at the forefront of literary Modernism. Georgian poetry was, in many ways, a rejection of Modernism.

Georgian poets

Here we will take a brief look at some of the prominent poets from the Georgian poetry movement.

Robert Graves

Robert Graves was an English poet and novelist born in London on 24th July 1895. Like his fellow Georgian poets, Graves neglected the more experimental fashion of the time to write traditional forms of poetry. Graves served in the army during the First World War and was greatly affected by it, suffering from what is now known as PTSD. Robert Graves often wrote in meter and about love. He was appointed professor of poetry at Oxford University in 1961.

PTSD is an acronym for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; a disorder suffered after experiencing a shocking or traumatic event. It is most closely associated with war; however, any event can trigger the disorder.

Edmund Charles Blunden

Born on 1st November 1896 in London, England, Edmund Charles Blunden was a poet and a scholar. Blunden spent time teaching in Japan and Hong Kong, and his time in Asia influenced his later poetry. Blunden's poetry is usually written in traditional forms and would regard rural life in England. Like many other Georgian poets, Blunden fought in the First World War as a young man. He wrote about his experiences in the memoir Undertones of War (1928).

Walter de la Mare

Walter de la Mare was an English poet and novelist born on 25th April 1873. Walter de la Mare was a prolific writer. Apart from his poetry, he had also written many novels, plays and short story collections. Walter de la Mare is most renowned for his work in children's literature. His most famous poem is 'The Listeners' (1912), a poem in which the speaker visits a house inhabited by ghosts.

Georgian poetry characteristics

We will now look at some of the more familiar features of Georgian poetry, including its use of formal techniques, Romanticism and sentimentality.

Formal techniques

Georgian poetry is perhaps most famous for its use of formal techniques to produce a more traditional form of poetry. Formal techniques in poetry refer to a poem's use of rhyme scheme and meter. Meter is the rhythm and use of syllables in each line. The most commonly used metric form in English is iambic pentameter, as used in Robert Graves' poem 'The Cool Web' (1927). A poem's rhyme scheme determines its end rhymes. Most Georgian poetry uses strict meter and rhyme schemes.

Iambic pentameter is a metric form that consists of five pairs of syllables. The first syllable is stressed, followed by an unstressed syllable, so there are ten syllables in each line.

Romanticism

Romanticism was a movement that was a rejection of the newfound modernity of the 18th century. Romanticism believed in the transcendental beauty of nature, a feeling that there is more to nature than science can explain. The Georgian poets echoed the ideals of Rromanticism. Many of the themes in Georgian poetry, such as love and the beauty of nature, are similar to the Romantics before them.

Sentimentality

Sentimentality is having a sad and somewhat tender nostalgic feeling towards something. Georgian poetry, in its nature, is sentimental due to its reverence for the more traditional forms of poetic technique. Georgian poems also tend to be sentimental towards their subject matter, whether they are about love or nature. Georgian poetry is often sentimental in its themes and form.

GeorgianPoets,Sentimentality,StudySmarterGeorgian poetry is often sentimental and nostalgic for traditional forms of poetry. Pixabay.com

Georgian poetry examples

In this section, we will look at two examples of Georgian poetry, 'The Cool Web' and 'The Great Lover' (1915).

'The Cool Web' (1927)

Robert Graves' 1927 poem explores the importance of language, speech and communication. The speaker uses metaphor and vivid imagery to express how important speech is to the human experience. The speaker talks about how speech and language give people the ability to process the world around them. Graves' poem is formed of four stanzas with three quatrains and a final sestet at the end. The poem uses a consistent rhyme scheme for the quatrains that changes for the sestet. The poem also uses iambic pentameter to create what is a more traditional form of poetry.

'The Great Lover' (1915)

In Rupert Brooke's poem, the speaker is reflecting back on their romantic past. The speaker starts with the boastful claim of being a 'great lover' throughout their life. The speaker then goes on to talk of other things that they love, such as certain foods and scents. It is a long poem made up of three stanzas of differing lengths. The poem has a rhyme scheme of AABBCCDD, which means that the poem consists of pairs of rhyming couplets.

Georgian (Poets) (1910-1936) - Key takeaways

  • The Georgian period in British history runs from 1910 up until the death of King George V in 1936.
  • The Georgian poets were a collective of British poets who predominantly worked during the reign of King George V.
  • The aim of the Georgian poets was to use traditional forms of poetry to write about romantic ideals.
  • The three characteristics of Georgian poetry are formal techniques, Romanticism and sentimentality.
  • The Georgian poets often used strict meter and simple rhyme schemes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Georgian

The Georgian period in British history runs from 1910 up until the death of King George V in 1936.

The Georgian poets were a collective of British poets who predominantly worked during the reign of King George V.

The aim of the Georgian poets was to use traditional forms of poetry to write about romantic ideals.

The Georgian era ended after the death of King George V in 1936.

The three characteristics of Georgian poetry are;

  • formal techniques
  • Romanticism
  • sentimentality

Final Georgian Quiz

Question

Which war poets survived the First World War?

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Answer

Among the war poets that survived the First World War were Siegfried Sassoon, Gottfried Benn, Jessie Pope, Vera Brittain, and Charlotte Mew 

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Question

Who were the First World War poets? 

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Answer

There were many individuals who wrote poetry during the First World War. The ones explored in this article are listed below:


Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen

Gerrit Engelke, Walter Flex, Gottfried Benn

Jessie Pope, Vera Brittain, Charlotte Mew

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Question

Which poet was killed in World War I first?  

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Answer

Among the first poets to die in the First World War was Rupert Brooke 

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How did Rupert Brooke die?

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Answer

Brooke died from blood poisoning on the 23rd April 1915

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How did Siegfried Sassoon die?

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Answer

On the 1st of September 1967, Siegfried Sassoon died from stomach cancer

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Question

How did Wilfred Owen die?

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Answer

Wilfred Owen was killed in action on the 4th of November 1918

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When did Walter Flex die?

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Answer

Flex was shot and killed in action, on the 16th of October 1917

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When did Gerrit Engelke die?

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Answer

Gerrit Engelke was seriously wounded on the 11th of October died just two days later on the 13th of October 1917 in France, in a British military hospital. 

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When did Gottfried Benn die?

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Answer

Benn died in Berlin on the 7th of July 1956, at the age of 70.

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When did Jessie Pope die?

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Answer

Jessie Pope died on the 14th of December 1941

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When did Vera Brittain die?

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Answer

Vera Brittain died on the 29th of March 1970

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When did Charlotte Mew die?

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Answer

Charlotte Mew died on the 24th of March 1928, after committing suicide

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Who wrote poetry during the First World War?

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Answer

Anyone who was in any way affected by the War, including soldiers, medics, nurses, or those on the home front  

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


If I should die, think only this of me: 

That there’s some corner of a foreign field 

That is for ever England. There shall be 

In that rich earth a richer dust concealed; 

A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware (l.1-5)

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Answer

'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


These boys with old, scared faces, learning to walk.  

They’ll soon forget their haunted nights; their cowed  

Subjection to the ghosts of friends who died,—  

Their dreams that drip with murder; and they’ll be proud  

Of glorious war that shatter’d all their pride…  

Men who went out to battle, grim and glad;  

Children, with eyes that hate you, broken and mad (l.3-10)


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Answer

'Survivors' by Siegfried Sassoon

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling 

Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time, 

But someone still was yelling out and stumbling 

And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.— 

Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, 

As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. 


In all my dreams before my helpless sight, 

He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning (l.9-16)


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Answer

'Dulce et Decorum Est' by Wilfred Owen

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


I was a soldier and a man and a doer of duty, just like you,

Thirsty, sleepless, ill - always on the march and at the post.   

Death came steaming hourly to overthrow me, screeching,   

I longed every hour for home, my birthplace, my beloved (l.23-26)


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Answer

'To the Soldiers of the Great War' by Gerrit Engelke

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


Hurry up, drive on to the north! 

Drive south across the sea – 

What have we become!   


Like you geese, we are a gray army 

And in the name of our Kaiser, 

We drive forward without returning (l.10-15)

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Answer

'Wild geese rush through the Night' by Walter Flex

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


We bear within us the seeds of all the gods, 

the gene of death and the gene of love— 

who separated them, the words and things, 

who blended them, the torments and the place where they come to an end, 

the few boards and the floods of tears, 

home for a few wretched hours (l.11-16)

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Answer

'Can be no sorrow' by Gottfried Benn

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?


Who’s for the game, the biggest that’s played, 

The red crashing game of a fight? 

Who’ll grip and tackle the job unafraid? 

And who thinks he’d rather sit tight? (l.1-4)



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Answer

'Who's for the Game?' by Jessie Pope

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from? 


Perhaps some day I shall not shrink in pain 

To see the passing of the dying year, 

And listen to Christmas songs again, 

Although You cannot hear.   


But, though kind Time may many joys renew, 

There is one greatest joy I shall not know 

Again, because my heart for loss of You 

Was broken, long ago (l.13-20)

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Answer

'Perhaps' by Vera Brittain

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Question

Which poem are the following lines from?  


Let us remember Spring will come again

To the scorched, blackened woods, where the wounded trees

Wait, with their old wise patience for the heavenly rain,

Sure of the sky: sure of the sea to send its healing breeze (l.1-4)

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Answer

'May 1915' by Charlotte Mew

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Question

When were the majority of writers who made up the Lost Generation born?

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Answer

The end of the 19th Century

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Who does the term Lost Generation refer to (in literature)?

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Answer

A group of American writers and poets who entered adulthood during World War One and produced work which critiqued and rebelled against post-World War One socio-economic ideals and constructs.

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Who coined the term Lost Generation?

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Answer

Gertrude Stein 

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Question

Which of these events did not influence the writers of the Lost Generation?

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Answer

The 1909 People's Budget 

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Question

True or false: Works by the Lost Generation portrayed materialism in a positive light.

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Answer

False! The decadent wealth of the 1920s was heavily critiqued and satirised by the Lost Generation. 

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Question

Which novel, by which author, is this quote from?


'They were careless people, Tom and Daisy - they smashed up things and... then retreated back into their money... and let other people clean up the mess they had made.'

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Answer

The Great Gatsby (1925), F. Scott Fitzgerald.

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Question

Who ran for Presidential election under the slogan 'return to normalcy'?

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Answer

Warren G. Harding 

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In which 1922 novel did Sinclair Lewis present a satirical take on America's consumerist enviornment?

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Answer

Babbitt (1922)

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Which of these writers are not part of the Lost Generation?

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Answer

Maya Angelou 

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Question

Which poem are these lines from?


'This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.'

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Answer

'The Hollow Men' (1925), by T. S. Eliot.

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Question

Who wrote 'The Waste Land' (1922)?

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Answer

T. S. Eliot

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Question

Which 1937 novella critiques youthful idealism?

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Answer

Of Mice and Men (1937) by John Steinbeck.

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How many novels did F. Scott Fitzgerald write and publish during his lifetime?

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Answer

Four

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Question

In which 1926 novel did Ernest Hemingway use the term 'Lost Generation'?

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Answer

In the epigraph of The Sun Also Rises (1926) Hemingway wrote; 'You are all the lost generation'. 

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Question

True or false: The Lost Generation expressed a critical perception of World War One.

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Answer

True! Works such as A Farewell to Arms (1929) portrayed the senseless violence of war.

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Question

What period is Georgian?


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Answer

The Georgian period in British history ran from 1910 up until the death of King George V in 1936.


Show question

Question

Why are they called Georgian poets?


Show answer

Answer

The Georgian poets were a collective of British poets who predominantly worked during the reign of King George V.


Show question

Question

What was the writing aim of the Georgian poets?


Show answer

Answer

The aim of the Georgian poets was to use traditional forms of poetry to write about Romantic ideals.


Show question

Question

When did the Georgian era end?


Show answer

Answer

The Georgian era ended after the death of King George V in 1936.


Show question

Question

What are the characteristics of Georgian poetry?


Show answer

Answer

The three characteristics of Georgian poetry are;

  • formal techniques
  • Romanticism
  • sentimentality

Show question

Question

Who wrote the poem 'The Cool Web' (1927)?

Show answer

Answer

Robert Graves wrote the poem 'The Cool Web' (1927).

Show question

Question

Georgian poetry can be seen as a rejection of which movement?

Show answer

Answer

Georgian poetry can be seen as a rejection of Modernism.

Show question

Question

Who wrote the poem 'The Great Lover' (1915)?

Show answer

Answer

Rubert Brooke wrote the poem 'The Great Lover' (1915).

Show question

Question

Many of the Georgian poets fought in which war?

Show answer

Answer

Many of the Georgian poets fought in the First World War.

Show question

Question

Georgian poetry has similarities with which 18th-century movement?

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Answer

Georgian poetry has similarities with 18th-century Romanticism.

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