Sassoon, Siegfried (1886–1967) By Von Cannon, Michael
Siegfried Sassoon was a poet, memoirist, novelist, and World War One soldier. His pre-war poetry, heavily influenced by Edward Marsh and the Georgian school of poets, was often criticized for derivative thought and emotional ambiguity. In 1914, Sassoon enlisted as a trooper, desiring to be one of the enlisted men. However, less than a year later, he earned his commission as a second lieutenant in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. During his convalescence from injuries incurred in the Battle of Arras (1917), Sassoon began developing objections to the war. He sent Finished with the War: A Soldier’s Declaration to his commanding officer; it was also read in Parliament. Just as war and protest gave Sassoon’s life purpose, they also improved the satirical power and emotional unity of his poetry. He is best known, though, for his fictionalized autobiographical trilogy, (Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man , Memoirs of an Infantry Officer , and Sherston’s Progress ).