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As the Great War dragged on and its catastrophic death toll mounted, a new artistic movement found its feet in the United Kingdom. The Trench Poets, as they came to be called, were soldier-poets dispatching their verse from the front lines. Known for its rejection of war as a romantic or noble enterprise, and its plainspoken condemnation of the senseless bloodshed of war, As the Great War dragged on and its catastrophic death toll mounted, a new artistic movement found its feet in the United Kingdom. The Trench Poets, as they came to be called, were soldier-poets dispatching their verse from the front lines. Known for its rejection of war as a romantic or noble enterprise, and its plainspoken condemnation of the senseless bloodshed of war, Trench Poetry soon became one of the most significant literary moments of its decade.  The marriage of poetry and comics is a deeply fruitful combination, as evidenced by this collection. In stark black and white, the words of the Trench Poets find dramatic expression and reinterpretation through the minds and pens of some of the greatest cartoonists working today. With New York Times bestselling editor Chris Duffy (Nursery Rhyme Comics, Fairy Tale Comics) at the helm, Above the Dreamless Dead is a moving and illuminating tribute to those who fought and died in World War I. Twenty poems are interpreted in comics form by twenty of today's leading cartoonists, including Eddie Campbell, Kevin Huizenga, George Pratt, and many others. 


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As the Great War dragged on and its catastrophic death toll mounted, a new artistic movement found its feet in the United Kingdom. The Trench Poets, as they came to be called, were soldier-poets dispatching their verse from the front lines. Known for its rejection of war as a romantic or noble enterprise, and its plainspoken condemnation of the senseless bloodshed of war, As the Great War dragged on and its catastrophic death toll mounted, a new artistic movement found its feet in the United Kingdom. The Trench Poets, as they came to be called, were soldier-poets dispatching their verse from the front lines. Known for its rejection of war as a romantic or noble enterprise, and its plainspoken condemnation of the senseless bloodshed of war, Trench Poetry soon became one of the most significant literary moments of its decade.  The marriage of poetry and comics is a deeply fruitful combination, as evidenced by this collection. In stark black and white, the words of the Trench Poets find dramatic expression and reinterpretation through the minds and pens of some of the greatest cartoonists working today. With New York Times bestselling editor Chris Duffy (Nursery Rhyme Comics, Fairy Tale Comics) at the helm, Above the Dreamless Dead is a moving and illuminating tribute to those who fought and died in World War I. Twenty poems are interpreted in comics form by twenty of today's leading cartoonists, including Eddie Campbell, Kevin Huizenga, George Pratt, and many others. 

30 review for Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics

  1. 4 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    This year is the 100th anniversary of the Great War, the "war to end all wars," ha. And who of us knows much about it? Jane Addams, once the most famous woman in America, was vilified for taking a position that the war could have been avoided, of course she was right, and she was later hollowly vindicated, in a way, by being award the Nobel Peace Prize. If you are a student of literature, maybe especially British literature, you are aware of the trench poets of that war, those who wrote poems li This year is the 100th anniversary of the Great War, the "war to end all wars," ha. And who of us knows much about it? Jane Addams, once the most famous woman in America, was vilified for taking a position that the war could have been avoided, of course she was right, and she was later hollowly vindicated, in a way, by being award the Nobel Peace Prize. If you are a student of literature, maybe especially British literature, you are aware of the trench poets of that war, those who wrote poems literally out of the trenches. Who are may favorites in this collection? What I think are the "usual suspects," Wilfred Owen, and Siegfried Sassoon, but there are others that are terrific: Rupert Brooke, Thomas Hardy, Kipling, Edith Sitwell. I was lukewarm about this collection at first, thinking that collections are almost always uneven, and seeing some of the creaky, stuffy turn of that century language of some of the early poems in the collection. And then I thought that some of the early art revealed a little disconnect with the poems. I thought: we are a 100 years from this war, and some young artists seem to be an odd fit with the poems and the formal language for the horrors of that war. How do we bridge that gap? But it was the art that time and again won me over, wedded thoughtfully and creatively with the words and horror. Some of my favorite artists shape this, editor Chris Duffy's, collection: Luke Pearson, Kevin Huizenga, Eddie Campbell, Peter Kuper, Isabel Greenberg, George Pratt, Lilli Carre, Danica Novgorodoff, Anders Nilsen. And the artists, finally, do not disappoint. In case you doubt this, based on the evidence of the art/poem collaborations themselves, look to the notes where the artists briefly discuss the process they went through with their work, all of them reading and re-reading the poems, doing research on the poets and the war and the poems. I hesitate to mention my faves, because as the momentum of the book gained steam for me, I had a long list including but not limited to Campbell's adaptation of excerpts from The Great Push (not a poem!) but Patrick MacGill, Nilsen's rendering of Hardy's "In Time of 'The Breaking of Nations'", Lloyd's tribute to Sassoon's "Repression of War Experience (which seems also a tribute to Will Eisner's artistic vision), The End by Owen and Novgodoroff, Greenberg's adaptation of Sassoon's lovely "Everyone Sang" and Carre's equally heartbreaking "The Dancers" which includes the line that titles the collection And some of this art work is an homage to the time, capturing what might have been comics styles of the time, and some helps us bridge the gap to wars of today, and wars almost inevitably to come. I went from an unfair "meh" to "moving," at last, profoundly touched and saddened by these visceral accounts in poetry and art. And fell in love with some of my have WWI poets again, and found some new ones I appreciated. Eddie Campbell says, self-deprecatingly: ""it's a bit preposterous us thinking we can illustrate the stuff that we know nothing of--sitting here in our air-conditioned rooms trying to imagine the horror of being knee deep in mud with your feet rotting off," and I wasn't there either, nor ever served in the military, but it's important for them and for all of us to imagine the horrors of war before we so easily commit to yet another and another again and again. That's the value of art, and imagination, and being human. I think they pull it off beautifully so we can use this in our own necessary anti-war efforts.

  2. 4 out of 5

    First Second Books

    When our editor, Calista Brill, came into the office fired up about 'trench poetry,' I had no idea what she was talking about. Two and a half years later, I'm so glad that I've gotten the chance to learn more about this really fascinating category of writing -- poetry written from the trenches of World War I. And I'm glad that with ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD, we're able to share these fascinating, thoughtful, viscerally written poems with a new generation of readers, with an all-new comics interpr When our editor, Calista Brill, came into the office fired up about 'trench poetry,' I had no idea what she was talking about. Two and a half years later, I'm so glad that I've gotten the chance to learn more about this really fascinating category of writing -- poetry written from the trenches of World War I. And I'm glad that with ABOVE THE DREAMLESS DEAD, we're able to share these fascinating, thoughtful, viscerally written poems with a new generation of readers, with an all-new comics interpretation. It's the 100th anniversary of World War I this year, you guys. This is a wonderful book to read to get a sense of how people at that time thought about war, and about life during wartime.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    High school teachers, use this book! I would have loved to use this when I taught history and English. I went through a stage in my 20s when I read a lot of the World War I poets--Sassoon and Brooke mostly. But, whoa, this version rocks. So easy to incorporate into the classroom. In the introduction, Duffy notes that many Americans don't know much about World War I, and I agree. Trench warfare was horrible and deadly--shell shock was common, and soldiers thought their commanders were idiots for High school teachers, use this book! I would have loved to use this when I taught history and English. I went through a stage in my 20s when I read a lot of the World War I poets--Sassoon and Brooke mostly. But, whoa, this version rocks. So easy to incorporate into the classroom. In the introduction, Duffy notes that many Americans don't know much about World War I, and I agree. Trench warfare was horrible and deadly--shell shock was common, and soldiers thought their commanders were idiots for fighting for months to gain 10 feet of ground. More than ten authors are highlighted here, from all class levels. Soldier songs are used, too, and some are downright hilarious. I love how so many artists are used and it's fascinating to study how the artist chose to represent the words. So many styles of drawing, but they are all appropriate. Sad, heartbreaking, and a must-read. War sucks. My favorites were "The Coward" by Rudyard Kipling adapted by Stephen R. Bissette and "The Next War" by Osbert Sitwell adapted by Simon Gane. I'm wondering if this will show up on the Alex Award list?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    Good collection of poems in comic book format. I still don't know too much about World War I, but in the intro Duffy acknowledges that he finds Americans seem to have little knowledge of the war. I remember being taught in school, but it was brief, probably because we talk more about the Civil War and then World War II. Regardless, you don't need to know too much about the war since these focus more what soldiers think about during and after wars. Also, I like the fact this is black and white, I Good collection of poems in comic book format. I still don't know too much about World War I, but in the intro Duffy acknowledges that he finds Americans seem to have little knowledge of the war. I remember being taught in school, but it was brief, probably because we talk more about the Civil War and then World War II. Regardless, you don't need to know too much about the war since these focus more what soldiers think about during and after wars. Also, I like the fact this is black and white, I think color would have dramatically changed the mood for these poems.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    World War I is a bit of a black hole for most people, both historically and literarily. This brief and lovely collection edited by Chris Duffy sets about to shine a little light on those dark times, featuring twenty-seven poems or songs by thirteen of the so-called Trench Poets. Each poem is interpreted by a cartoonist, only a couple of whom pull double duty, offering a fantastic spread of voices and images dealing with the three phases of the war: the patriotic build-up, the time spent in the t World War I is a bit of a black hole for most people, both historically and literarily. This brief and lovely collection edited by Chris Duffy sets about to shine a little light on those dark times, featuring twenty-seven poems or songs by thirteen of the so-called Trench Poets. Each poem is interpreted by a cartoonist, only a couple of whom pull double duty, offering a fantastic spread of voices and images dealing with the three phases of the war: the patriotic build-up, the time spent in the trenches, and the bleak aftermath. Readers may recognize a couple of the writers on the roster - Kipling, Hardy - but unless you've spent some serious time with Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy, most of the others will likely be new to you. Personally, I'm in a long-term love affair with Wilfred Owen, two of whose works receive a bleakly gorgeous impressionistic treatment by George Pratt here. A brief notes section at the conclusion of the volume offers you biographical information about the poets and artists, as well as annotations on the poems (not indicated anywhere in the poems themselves, so perhaps not as helpful as they could have been) and observations by the artists on the poems they worked on. Above the Dreamless Dead is poetry at its best and most wrenching, with a visual presentation that makes it possibly the most lovely and accessible early 20th century literary gut-punch I've ever experienced. Would that more poetry got such great exposure.

  6. 5 out of 5

    April

    Above The Dreamless Dead is one of those books that is worth reading no matter the format, although I think that the physical copy is worth reading for the tactile experience. Read the rest of my review here Above The Dreamless Dead is one of those books that is worth reading no matter the format, although I think that the physical copy is worth reading for the tactile experience. Read the rest of my review here

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kier Scrivener

    "Do not survive the bitterness that war begets: the century of carnage since your slaughter made cynics out of very nearly all"-Siegfried Sassoon I found this book beautiful and tragic. I especially was drawn to Owen and Sassoon's poems and the reflection on how the war affected the minds of those involved. The illistrations really added to many of the poems especially the Next War. Quotes: "And not the peaceful delivered at such dreadful cost. Mishandled just as surely as the war, it did no more "Do not survive the bitterness that war begets: the century of carnage since your slaughter made cynics out of very nearly all"-Siegfried Sassoon I found this book beautiful and tragic. I especially was drawn to Owen and Sassoon's poems and the reflection on how the war affected the minds of those involved. The illistrations really added to many of the poems especially the Next War. Quotes: "And not the peaceful delivered at such dreadful cost. Mishandled just as surely as the war, it did no more than offer up a bottle that your sons would have to finish."-Siegfried Sassoon "And yet the love you bore for one another shine like sunlight on a scratch of steal. And love like that is never wasted, not even on the doomed." -Siegfried Sassoon "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest, to children ardent for some desperate glory, the old lie, dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori."-Wilfred Owen "What more fitting memorial for the fallen than that their children should fall for the same cause."-Osbert Sitwell, The Next War "And it's been proved that soldiers don't go mad unless they lose control of ugly thoughts."-Siegfried Sassoon, The Repression of The War Experience

  8. 4 out of 5

    Timons Esaias

    There is a fiction and poetry of World War One (much of the fiction written by the poets) that matches the Iliad for richness and power. And like the Iliad, those works are open to re-working and re-interpreting by later generations. (Not a year goes by that there isn't a major retelling of some part of Iliad/Odyssey somewhere in the world.) I see this book as a strong entry in what could be a very fruitful tradition. I loved this. The WWI poets, especially the British poets, wrote some immortal There is a fiction and poetry of World War One (much of the fiction written by the poets) that matches the Iliad for richness and power. And like the Iliad, those works are open to re-working and re-interpreting by later generations. (Not a year goes by that there isn't a major retelling of some part of Iliad/Odyssey somewhere in the world.) I see this book as a strong entry in what could be a very fruitful tradition. I loved this. The WWI poets, especially the British poets, wrote some immortal stuff, and these graphic (comics) versions are lovely settings for many of the best. "Dulce et Decorum Est" is here, and "Route March" and "Channel Firing" and "The General" and "The Next War." I like that we have quite a variety of illustrators, and that many of them thought outside the box. If I were teaching the literature of war, or of WWI in particular, I'd be tempted to use this as a text. Brilliant idea.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kaiya

    Above the Dreamless Dead is a collection of poems and stories from World War One soldiers and veterans that were turned into a bunch of comics. The art styles in this book were really cool. Each poem kind of had their own style of art. Everything was in black and white, but the art styles were very different. Some were very simple and had very basic open shapes where are others were more scribbley and lacked clean lines. Then there were some that reminded me heavily of Jared Lee's art. Over all Above the Dreamless Dead is a collection of poems and stories from World War One soldiers and veterans that were turned into a bunch of comics. The art styles in this book were really cool. Each poem kind of had their own style of art. Everything was in black and white, but the art styles were very different. Some were very simple and had very basic open shapes where are others were more scribbley and lacked clean lines. Then there were some that reminded me heavily of Jared Lee's art. Over all I felt like most of the lines were pretty thin throughout every style. This book would fit mainly under historical and possibly informational as well. It does really give a ton of information about WWI but it does give the readers insight on what the soldiers were feeling. I feel like that was a big part of the authors purpose. He wanted readers to experience as much emotion as possible and understand what the soldiers were dealing with. I would recommend this to people who enjoy historical books. It was decently depressing, and most books about war are, and I'm not a huge history buff so I mostly enjoyed it for the different art styles.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark Flowers

    Starred review from SLJ (http://blogs.slj.com/adult4teen/2014/...) Plus read my interview with George Pratt, here: http://blogs.slj.com/adult4teen/2014/... There are various dates given as the first day of World War I, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, to the first shots fired by Austro-Hungarian soldiers on July 28 to the August 4th declaration of war by the British Empire, signalling the truly world-wide stretch of the conflict. Whatever the case, there is no d Starred review from SLJ (http://blogs.slj.com/adult4teen/2014/...) Plus read my interview with George Pratt, here: http://blogs.slj.com/adult4teen/2014/... There are various dates given as the first day of World War I, from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, to the first shots fired by Austro-Hungarian soldiers on July 28 to the August 4th declaration of war by the British Empire, signalling the truly world-wide stretch of the conflict. Whatever the case, there is no doubt that 100 years ago today, thousands of soldiers were being killed in the first weeks of one of the largest wars in world history. Among those fighting in August 1914 was Siegfried Sassoon, one of the best of the “Trench Poets”–mostly British writers and poets who fought in the trenchs of the Western Front and wrote about their experiences, mostly in poetry but also in prose. I first encountered the Trench Poets at age 19, in a course on Early 20th Century British Literature at UCLA, while a less epic, but still horrifying war was being waged in Iraq and Afghanistan (and, if President Bush was to be believed, throughout the world). I was immediately taken with these poets, especially Wilfred Owen and his magnum opus “Dulce et Decorum Est,” a blisteringly anti-war poem which nonetheless manages to convey the longing of boys for combat. “Gas! Gas! Quick, boy!–An ecstasy of fumbling” remains one the best and most disturbing lines of poetry I’ve read. Metaphors and imagery taken from sex (like that “ecstasy of fumbling”) and nature permeate the poetry of the Trench Poets, as if they are trying to ward off the horrors of the mechanized war by comparing it to the most natural things they can think of. Today’s review is of an incredible collection of the poetry of the Trench Poets–along with some baudy soldier’s songs–illustrated by some of the great graphic novelists and comic artists around. As I state in my review below, the illustrators have used a range of styles and angles on how to illustrate poems which are already complete in themselves. But it is very rare that any of them fail to add something to the already powerful words. These are perfect poems for teenagers trying to make sense of war and destruction, especially those teens who sense war’s inherent futility, in which so many of the Trench Poets believed. And the illustrations should be a perfect entree for teen into this important work. For anyone whose interest is piqued by this review, come back on Friday for an interview with George Pratt, illustrator of three of the four Wilfred Owen poems included in the collection. * DUFFY, Chris, ed. Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics. illus. by Various. 144p. First Second. Jul. 2014. Tr $25.99. ISBN 9781626720657. LC 2014029047. In this haunting graphic novel, editor Duffy has collected 25 poems written during World War I—most by the so-called “Trench Poets,” men who fought and in some cases died in the trenches of Western Europe—and asked some of today’s finest comic artists to illustrate them. While the vast majority of the poems can be categorized as anti-war, their tones and styles range from the lyrical, contemplative verse of Thomas Hardy (at 74 years old decidedly not a trench poet) to the densely bitter barrages of Wilfred Owen. And the illustrations show a similar range of styles. Most of the artists opt for fairly traditional panelled cartoons, though the art can range from grittily realistic to more traditional comic mannerisms. And some artists, such as George Pratt and Stephen R. Bissette abandon panels entirely to create darkly expressionistic backgrounds for their spreads. In addition to the primary poems, Duffy includes several soldiers’ songs—popular, often bawdy, and irreverent songs sung by soldiers in the war—all illustrated in a jokey comic style by Hunt Emerson. The result of this hodgepodge of techniques and tones is nothing short of a masterpiece: at once a reimagining and reinterpretation of some of the great poetry of the early 20th Century for those who have already encountered it, and an ideal introduction to the facts and the literature of World War I for teens who have not.—Mark Flowers, John F. Kennedy Library, Vallejo, CA

  11. 5 out of 5

    David

    3.75 I love poetry, definitely enjoy a good graphic novel and teach history, so I thought this was going to be right up my alley. I did enjoy it, but I was surprised to realize that combining the poems with a graphic novel just didn't quite work for me. The poems seemed disjointed as they were split up over different panels and the artwork really distracted me from the overall enjoyment of the poems. I think I would have enjoyed it much better if each poem was completely intact and the graphic n 3.75 I love poetry, definitely enjoy a good graphic novel and teach history, so I thought this was going to be right up my alley. I did enjoy it, but I was surprised to realize that combining the poems with a graphic novel just didn't quite work for me. The poems seemed disjointed as they were split up over different panels and the artwork really distracted me from the overall enjoyment of the poems. I think I would have enjoyed it much better if each poem was completely intact and the graphic novel followed it up to show the story on the other page(s) etc. I did enjoy this and some of the material was extremely haunting, but it was one of those books you read and think what could have been. I think many students would enjoy looking through this book and it would be a good way to introduce World War I poetry to them. One of the aspects of the book I enjoyed the most was reading about the graphic artists thought process as they approached each poem.

  12. 4 out of 5

    M

    Editor Chris Duffy merges words and images in this unique look at World War I. Poems from the soldiers, authors, and writers from that era are paired with a contemporary artist, tasked with illustrating the messages contained with. While a unique experiment, the book's engaging premise is also its downfall. Many of the poems are capable of generating their own mental imagery, yet they become bogged down under the weight of artistic interpretation. This is especially the case with the more comple Editor Chris Duffy merges words and images in this unique look at World War I. Poems from the soldiers, authors, and writers from that era are paired with a contemporary artist, tasked with illustrating the messages contained with. While a unique experiment, the book's engaging premise is also its downfall. Many of the poems are capable of generating their own mental imagery, yet they become bogged down under the weight of artistic interpretation. This is especially the case with the more complex poems and detailed art. The simpler images and lyrical odes mesh easier, as each one uses the other to build into a grander design. Kudos for experimentation, but Above the Dreamless Dead often has its head in the clouds.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura I.

    What a fantastic idea! I would never have encountered most/all of these WWI poems if not for this book, and some of them are really beautiful and will stick with me for a long time. As with all anthologies, I liked some of the poem+comic chapters here better than others, especially because there were so many elements that had to all come together here to make it work, but there were a handful that did this so well they took my breath away. I especially loved that James Lloyd included a page of t What a fantastic idea! I would never have encountered most/all of these WWI poems if not for this book, and some of them are really beautiful and will stick with me for a long time. As with all anthologies, I liked some of the poem+comic chapters here better than others, especially because there were so many elements that had to all come together here to make it work, but there were a handful that did this so well they took my breath away. I especially loved that James Lloyd included a page of text after his poetry adaptation on what we once called shell-shock and now call PTSD but still haven't really developed a way to deal with. Especially when taken with the tragic and well-adapted poem in the pages before, it was really powerful.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    Now I'm not a big poetry reader and often manage to completely miss the point of such things but these poems and the illustrations that accompany them broke through that and brought the horrors, difficulties and humours of war clearly and vividly to mind. The poems were written by the troops on the ground during the First World War as they were stuck in the trenches while the illustrations came later by those not there. A point acknowledged in the introduction by Duffy but one that does not seem Now I'm not a big poetry reader and often manage to completely miss the point of such things but these poems and the illustrations that accompany them broke through that and brought the horrors, difficulties and humours of war clearly and vividly to mind. The poems were written by the troops on the ground during the First World War as they were stuck in the trenches while the illustrations came later by those not there. A point acknowledged in the introduction by Duffy but one that does not seem to have reduced the impact the illustrations have or their ability to bring the words of the troops to life. An excellent read, perfectly weighted.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    This is an interesting collection of literature that has been combined with illustrations. I don't want to say this is a never done before concept however this really brings life to some of these older poems and classical writings which helps bring them to a completely new audience. This would be a great addition to World War II lessons in school settings and are very interesting for students who are interested in war material. This might even encourage them to read more classics of the past.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Suke

    This book is about the 1st world war, it shows all the struggles and problems which the soldiers faced during this time and how everything fell into place. The artwork of this graphic novel is very interesting. Every chapter is a different poem and they are all different styles of art, so you really can’t get bored of it. The characters in this story aren’t really consistent. They are constantly changing which makes it even more interesting. Overall I really enjoyed this story.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shy

    This book is so important. My favorite poem/comic combination was Robert Graves. I would highly recommend this for anyone studying WWI era history or literature, but I truly believe everyone should read this.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    An excellent collection of twenty World War I poems superbly illustrated by twenty leading graphic artists. Includes biographical information about each of the poets.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    Interesting idea, pairing century old war poetry with modern comic illustration.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Soobie's scared

    This was a bit weird. It came up as a suggestion here on GR and I read it because of my weird fascination with WW1. Despite my English being quite good, I always have troubles understanding poetry without notes. In addition, the few poems I've read (and studied at school) all came with explanations and notes. Here my reading was a bit difficult. I mean, I would stop and ask myself: who is the poet referring to with that pronoun? The art was OK, I guess. Like every anthology that are the good part This was a bit weird. It came up as a suggestion here on GR and I read it because of my weird fascination with WW1. Despite my English being quite good, I always have troubles understanding poetry without notes. In addition, the few poems I've read (and studied at school) all came with explanations and notes. Here my reading was a bit difficult. I mean, I would stop and ask myself: who is the poet referring to with that pronoun? The art was OK, I guess. Like every anthology that are the good parts and the bad parts... It was all very dark. I really like Simon Gane, Hannah Berry and David Hitchock. I'm not entirely sure that mixing graphic novels and poems worked, though. For what the poems are concerned, Wilfried Owen's Dulce et Decorum Est is one of my favorite poems ever. In this anthology, I adored Osbert Siwell's The Next War. Between the art and the poem, it was easily the best contribution to the anthology. All in all I was happy to read this but I could have use some more notes.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen I had heard of, but not Isaac Rosenberg, or that they and others were collectively known as the Trench poets. “The Immortals” by Isaac Rosenberg “I killed them, but they would not die. Yea! all the day and all the night/ For them I could not rest or sleep/ Nor guard from them or hide in flight./ …I used to think the Devil hid/ In women’s smile and wine’s carouse. I called him Satan, Balzebub./ But now I call him, dirty louse.” (43-46) Here’s a bit from Siegfrie Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen I had heard of, but not Isaac Rosenberg, or that they and others were collectively known as the Trench poets. “The Immortals” by Isaac Rosenberg “I killed them, but they would not die. Yea! all the day and all the night/ For them I could not rest or sleep/ Nor guard from them or hide in flight./ …I used to think the Devil hid/ In women’s smile and wine’s carouse. I called him Satan, Balzebub./ But now I call him, dirty louse.” (43-46) Here’s a bit from Siegfried Sassoon’s “The General” “This blind man’s strategy that made the balance- sheet illegible, as ink met blood and ran and drowned? These tried and tested tactics that sought to bridge a butcher’s block with wire- jointed skeletons?” (66) I am very glad to have read this, especially one hundred years to the day after the Armistice. I borrowed this from my public library.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Wright

    Denny O'Neil once compared comic book captions to "headlines written by poets." For me, I love poetry and comics and I think they go great together. I can't say I love WWI, but it's impact on the artists of the day and the rise of literary modernism can't be overstated. I had read Owen and Sassoon before, but was unfamiliar with most of the poets. I was happy to find a few new favorites to follow up on. But, the highlight was seeing George Pratt (of Enemy Ace: War Idyll fame) tackle 3 of Owen's Denny O'Neil once compared comic book captions to "headlines written by poets." For me, I love poetry and comics and I think they go great together. I can't say I love WWI, but it's impact on the artists of the day and the rise of literary modernism can't be overstated. I had read Owen and Sassoon before, but was unfamiliar with most of the poets. I was happy to find a few new favorites to follow up on. But, the highlight was seeing George Pratt (of Enemy Ace: War Idyll fame) tackle 3 of Owen's poems with his distinctive, painterly style. The diversity of art styles matches the diversity of literary styles. I don't know that anyone can make sense of the madness of war, but it's important to read the words of those who lived through it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Blakeharp

    The book Above The Dreamless Dead, is a good book to help you understand I poetry and comics what really happened during WW1. The pictures in this book make it easier for us to picture what happened and what it looked like. There were a lot of killings and injures during WW1. A lot of people didn't know what it was like to be in WW1 because they didn't have the chance but when you read the pomes they have in this book it makes you think that you were there. When you read this book you will learn The book Above The Dreamless Dead, is a good book to help you understand I poetry and comics what really happened during WW1. The pictures in this book make it easier for us to picture what happened and what it looked like. There were a lot of killings and injures during WW1. A lot of people didn't know what it was like to be in WW1 because they didn't have the chance but when you read the pomes they have in this book it makes you think that you were there. When you read this book you will learn how they walked and walked days until they found somewhere they could set up camp and still be safe while they slept at night.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This slim volume is a wonderful exploration of history and poetry via the medium of comics, and it succeeds much better than I could have imagined. The selection of poems is perfect, and the pairing between artists and verses almost always works, and in some cases works brilliantly. Simon Game really steals the show with his pitch-perfect interpretations of poems from Rupert Brooke and Osbert Sitwell, while George Pratt's painterly compositions bring a powerful moodiness to three poems from Wilf This slim volume is a wonderful exploration of history and poetry via the medium of comics, and it succeeds much better than I could have imagined. The selection of poems is perfect, and the pairing between artists and verses almost always works, and in some cases works brilliantly. Simon Game really steals the show with his pitch-perfect interpretations of poems from Rupert Brooke and Osbert Sitwell, while George Pratt's painterly compositions bring a powerful moodiness to three poems from Wilfred Owen. All-in-all, this volume represents a near-perfect execution on a highly original idea.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Asher Henderson

    Above the Dreamless Dead beautiful transforms a collection of poems written by soldiers before and following World War I by having various illustrators draw comic book-style drawings for each. The poetry is vivid, dark, and beautiful and the pictures find a way to make the poems both more graphic and more accessible for teenagers and college students. I will not be able to use this in my class, though I enjoy reading this, just because it is dark and aimed for an older audience than kindergarten Above the Dreamless Dead beautiful transforms a collection of poems written by soldiers before and following World War I by having various illustrators draw comic book-style drawings for each. The poetry is vivid, dark, and beautiful and the pictures find a way to make the poems both more graphic and more accessible for teenagers and college students. I will not be able to use this in my class, though I enjoy reading this, just because it is dark and aimed for an older audience than kindergarten. I think everyone should read this, but it will have to stay on a high shelf in my classroom.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    Really well put together anthology featuring some favorite cartoonists - I didn't know this book existed as the subject matter is a bit off my radar. The introduction by editor Chris Duffy addresses the issue of what or why the need for a project of this sort, and is summed up nicely in one of the final lines - "bearing witness to those who bear witness". Really well done short pieces by Sammy Harkham, Lilli Carre, Kevin Huizenga, Carol Tyler, Luke Pearson and Anders Nilsen - seek this out if yo Really well put together anthology featuring some favorite cartoonists - I didn't know this book existed as the subject matter is a bit off my radar. The introduction by editor Chris Duffy addresses the issue of what or why the need for a project of this sort, and is summed up nicely in one of the final lines - "bearing witness to those who bear witness". Really well done short pieces by Sammy Harkham, Lilli Carre, Kevin Huizenga, Carol Tyler, Luke Pearson and Anders Nilsen - seek this out if you know and like these folks' work!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    The poetry of the early 20th century was imagistic and experimental. Many collaborators were able to bring to life (and death) the travails of WWI. This is done via adaptations of many of the poems arising from the time. The graphics and the poetry chosen are challenging to the eye and soul of the reader. Poetry is well served by graphic art representation - thus bringing out further meanings of the artists. I feel this is a graphic selection not to be missed.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

    This is an extraordinary collection and impressive concept -- to represent the works of WWI trench poets like Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves and others in graphic form. The different styles depicted by the cartoonists are well matched to their subjects and capture the essence of the poems beautifully. Mostly it testifies to the horrors of war in any age and begs the question -- why do they persist? How have we not learned from the past?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Len Knighton

    This is an extraordinary book. The drawings that illustrate the poems are dark and provocative. There is nothing comical about these comics with the possible exception of those depicting songs from the Great War. These “comics” bring tears, not laughter, but that is their strength. The words and pictures depict the horrific scenes that dominated Europe for more than four years. If we learn nothing else from this book, we learn of the suffering endured during and after the war. Five stars

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mouse

    Morbid stuff, some of it is hard to get through! Some of the poems and illustrations are good and some not so good. This book has a very “underground comic” type vibe going on with it. It’s definitely not a standard comic, and not very shareable with your kid... Lol. Might be good for teens learning about the different wars in history. Raw stuff!

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