Daniel Swift

Killing time: the poetry of Keith Douglas

Everything is seen from a strange and prickly distance as Douglas awaits action in Egypt in the second world war

Keith Douglas in the desert in Egypt during the second world war.

Keith Douglas is perhaps the best-known overlooked poet. He died following the D-Day landings in 1944, and his Collected Poems were published in 1951, followed by a Selected Poems in 1964. ‘Now, 20 years after his death,’ wrote Ted Hughes in his slightly puffy introduction to that volume, ‘it is becoming clear that he offers more than just a few poems about the war.’

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