A reading of the last couple of paras from an early section of In Parenthesis by David Jones.
In Parenthesis is a book-length Modernist poem about the First World War (the only great Modernist work by a Brit rather than an American or Irish writer). It’s not often included in courses on Modernism since, like similar texts, it can appear difficult to get into, but it’s well worth the effort. It’s also a startling contrast to the kind of “war poetry” most people are used to.
Best known as the author of such novels as The Good Soldier and No More Parades, Ford was also an accomplished modernist poet. He enlisted with the Welch Regiment in 1915 at the age of 41, served at the front and was wounded. “Nostalgia” (with the alternative title, “The Iron Music”) is one of a number of poems that take their rise from his experiences of the Great War.
Image of Ford c/o The Ford Madox Ford Society (http://www.fordmadoxfordsociety.org).
The text is taken from Ford Madox Ford: Selected Poems, edited with an introduction by Max Saunders, published by Carcanet Press, 2003.
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