Siegfried Sassoon Questions and Answers

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Why do some writers choose poetry over fiction or autobiography when writing about their experiences? What can poetry offer an artist that other forms of writing might not?

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One of the best advantages of poetry over any kind of prose is its conciseness. Because all the excess words have been squeezed out, the message left on the page is so much more concentrated.  Any imagery or emotional effect that the author wants readers to respond to is right there, standing out in a very visual format, not buried in a chapter somewhere.  Also, by its very nature poetry is designed to draw emotional responses out of us.  We expect the author to give us vivid imagery, to put us through emotional experiences that we either relate to in our own way, or experience vicariously through the author’s words.

Because Siegfried Sassoon was writing about his very graphic, emotional, and often controversial experiences in and beliefs about World War I, perhaps he felt that the world would accept his...

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