the friend online
07 November 2008

The Pity of War - preview

Gerard Benson, one of the founders of Poems on the Underground, talks about some war poetry and music

In Quaker Week, Huddersfield Local Meeting booked a performance of Not About Heroes
  • It’s a powerful and moving two-hander about the friendship between two of the first world war’s English poets – Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen – who met at Craiglockart War Hospital, where officers suffering from ‘shell shock’ were treated
  • It was an excellent performance
  • The emotion generated between the actors and shared with the audience was palpable
  • The play was enthusiastically received by a large audience at Huddersfield Meeting House
  • A fellow member of Brighouse West Yorkshire Area Meeting, I attended the performance and I’m grateful to Huddersfield for their enterprise
  • (Owen was killed on 4 November 1918; he was twenty-five
  • Sassoon outlived the war and died in 1967
  • ) At one point, Owen read out a couple of sentences from the then projected, now well-known introduction to his book of poems (printed posthumously)
  • He wrote: ‘My subject is War and the pity of War, The Poetry is in the pity

  • Gerard Benson

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    Richard Evens
    The Pity of War
    Gerard Benson
    Armistice Day at Bournville 2007
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