My favourite books 28: In Parenthesis

In Parenthesis by David Jones

Published Faber & Faber, 1937; this edition 2010

In my opinion, this is the most rewarding poetry to emerge from the First World War.  Denser, more elusive and much longer than Owen or Sassoon, it demands that you immerse yourself in its world, where prose and verse, myth and sordid reality intertwine.

Jones served in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at the Somme and Ypres.  It took him nearly twenty years to muster his thoughts on paper, by which time the corollary of WW2 was almost upon us.  You can read more about David Jones, artist and poet, here; come November, I recommend you find a week for In Parenthesis.

Exiit Edictum by David Jones, 1949.  From the Tate Collection.

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