The complete diaries of World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon — which were small enough to fit into the pocket of his army tunic — have been published online.
Due to their fragile state, they were not available to the public, but now all 4,100 pages of journals and poetry notebooks have been digitised by the Cambridge University Library.
Librarian Anne Jarvis says the diaries, “offer a unique insight into life on the front line during World War One.” Sassoon describes life in the trenches, including the moment he was shot by a sniper at the Battle of Arras. He describes the first day of the Battle of the Somme as a "sunlit picture of hell'".
His observations are often accompanied by pencil or ink sketches, diagrams of the trenches and, poignantly, marks of war, like mud and candle wax on the pages.
The diaries include previously unpublished material, such as a poem called “Absolution”, and early drafts of some of his best-known works. The journals go from the war years to 1932.
> The Battle of the Somme 1916
> In the Trenches
Tag(s) : "literature" "poetry" "sassoon" "war" "WWI"