DENTON (UNT), Texas The horror of World War I altered the world for generations. Now The University of Texas Libraries Special Collections is offering a glimpse of the poetry inspired by the Great War.
The Lost Generation: World War I Poetry from the Donald Thomas War Poetry Collection will be on display in the Sarah T. Hughes Reading Room. The Reading Room is located on the fourth floor of UNT’s Willis Library, 1506 Highland Ave. The exhibit will be displayed until May 11 (Thursday).
This exhibit explores the work of many “soldier poets,” from World War I, whose aesthetically rich and haunting verse often sits uncomfortably alongside popular ballads, songs, and toasts that attempt to sustain, or gently mock, the romanticized ideals of heroic self-sacrifice for the nation’s glory. In between these opposed perspectives there are responses to the war, both critical and laudatory, from poets who did not enlist, including women on the home front and those in active services as nurses. To set these perspectives in context, included are sections on visual images of war, particularly photography and poets’ responses to this documentary technology, and retrospective collections that advocate for peace in the aftermath of the Great War and on the eve of World War II.
“This is a wonderful collection that will be a great asset both for students and scholars of the First World War,” said John Peters, distinguished research professor at UNT, who helped curate the exhibit. UNT professors Dahlia Porter and Bruce Bond also helped curate the exhibit.
There will a lecture by Peters on Feb. 23 (Thursday) from 4-5 p.m. in room 140 of Willis Library, located at 1506 W. Highland St. Peters will discuss WWI and its effect on England and Europe in particular. He also will discuss a few of the better known poems. A reception will follow from 5-7 p.m. in the Sarah T. Hughes Reading Room.
Visitors for the UNT exhibit may park at Highland Street Garage and Union Circle Garage for $2 an hour or $10 a day or at the parking meters on Highland Street and West Sycamore Street for $1 an hour. Learn more at http://transportation.unt.edu/visitor_info.html.