War Poetry- The New Sensibilities

9781512076783: War Poetry- The New Sensibilities

The armistice of 1918 has been repeatedly shaken by gory events of inter-national and internecine confrontation— the Second World War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo Conflict, the Afghanistan War, the Gaza War to name a few. Hundreds of civil wars across the globe- in Spain, Bosnia and Somalia- and, terrorist activities like the demolition of the twin towers of World Trade Centre on 9/11 warrant the conclusion that the world is yet too hot to celebrate the flying of the white dove. No wonder that war poetry continues to be written although the sensibilities have undergone certain changes over the years. The question of firsthand experience is no longer valid in our times of electronic media when one may form a realistic opinion of what actually happens from a distance of thousands of miles. Secondly, the sophistication of military technology has immensely increased the power of devastation, and as this can be done by flinging a missile with the press of a button, the word ‘confrontation’ has become dated in the martial lexicon. Thirdly, with the growth of consciousness, the tone has switched from condemnation to accusation. Fourthly, as Weapons of Mass Destruction including chemical weapons and nuclear bombs are used without any scruple to extirpate the opponents, civilian-toll is one of the major themes of contemporary war poetry. Fifthly, prolonged exposure to violence in a situation of uncertainty of existence often makes the participants of war incurable psychopaths. Sixthly, using the near-relation point of view for intensifying the ‘pity of war’, probing how women and children are differently impacted in the anarchy of war, blaming the politicians by name, foregrounding the ecological hazard consequent upon military operation, using the form of parody for driving home the truth of war—all these prove that post-WW I war poetry is also a precious mine of cultural output, and its social significance lies in its unambiguous pacifist stand—in its determination to warn man against having recourse to violence irrespective of the bone of contention.

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About the Author:

Dr Sukriti Ghosal, university topper at both UG & PG examinations, was awarded Ph. D. Degree in 1993 for his research work on the literary criticism of Oscar Wilde. Dr Ghosal who started his teaching career in 1985 has been acting as Principal of MUC Women’s College, Burdwan, West Bengal, India since 2002. Dr Ghosal served the Department of English, Burdwan University as Guest Lecturer and has been actively engaged in research supervision. Three scholars have successfully completed their research under his supervision and have been awarded Ph. D. degree by the University of Burdwan. Dr Ghosal has presented paper at different academic platforms, published many research papers in journals of repute, prepared Study Materials for university courses and edited a Commemorative Volume on the famous Bengali poet Jibanananda Das. One of his articles has been web-linked in the Reference section of Wikipedia page on 'Gitanjali'. He has also published a good many essays, poems and also translated stories in Bengali.

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