shame on me, I've never read Owen, so I can't compare, but I do agree with the rawness of Sassoon's poems, which I quite like. One aspect of his writing that struck me considerably is the fact that his verses rhyme, and at least to my ear this increased considerably the dramatic effect, in the sense that the strident contrast between the "singsong" and the content of the verse adds to their grimness.
Many of these poems refer to passages of Sassoon's The complete memoirs of George Sherston
, another great suggestion by Issybird, or rather many passages expand on the poems, and I am glad I read the memoirs first (a great read by the way).
As Hamlet, I found myself highlighting so much of the text to make highlighting pointless
- however I'll just add this (from The Kiss
, where the sister is the bayonet), which perhaps helps me clarify my point above:
Sweet Sister, grant your soldier this;
That in good fury he may feel
The body where he sets his heel
Quail from your downward darting kiss.
- and the implied necessity of that "good fury" makes me shiver.