"If poetry could truly tell it backwards, then it would" wrote Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy in 2009. "Last Post" was one of two poems written to mark the occasion of the deaths of two of the last British survivors of World War One. Poetry's gift lies not in the ability to tell it backwards, if it ever could, but to tell it as it is and was. Poetry captures the emotion, humanity and horror of war that service records, unit diaries and official histories never could and, in so doing, open for the reader a window into the individual experience of conflict.
Over the next few weeks it is our very great pleasure to bring you a number of poems written about the experience of conflict from those who have lived it, and from those who have seen the scars it leaves.