Isaac Rosenberg
Overview
 
Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 who was considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poet
War poet
A War poet is a poet writing in time of and on the subject of war. The term, which is applied especially to those in military service during World War I, was documented as early as 1848 in reference to German revolutionary poet, Georg Herwegh.-Crimean War:...

s. His "Poems from the Trenches" are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War.
Isaac Rosenberg was born to Barnet and Annie Rosenberg, who had fled Devinsk
Daugavpils
Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some...

 in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 to escape anti-Jewish pogroms. In 1897, the family moved to 47 Cable Street
Cable Street
Cable Street is a mile-long road in the East End of London, with several historic landmarks nearby, made famous by "the Battle of Cable Street" of 1936.-Location:Cable Street runs between the edge of The City and Limehouse:...

 in a poor district of the East End of London
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

, and one with a strong Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 community.
Encyclopedia
Isaac Rosenberg was an English poet of the First World War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 who was considered to be one of the greatest of all English war poet
War poet
A War poet is a poet writing in time of and on the subject of war. The term, which is applied especially to those in military service during World War I, was documented as early as 1848 in reference to German revolutionary poet, Georg Herwegh.-Crimean War:...

s. His "Poems from the Trenches" are recognised as some of the most outstanding written during the First World War.

Biography

Isaac Rosenberg was born to Barnet and Annie Rosenberg, who had fled Devinsk
Daugavpils
Daugavpils is a city in southeastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city gets its name. Daugavpils literally means "Daugava Castle". With a population of over 100,000, it is the second largest city in the country after the capital Riga, which is located some...

 in Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 to escape anti-Jewish pogroms. In 1897, the family moved to 47 Cable Street
Cable Street
Cable Street is a mile-long road in the East End of London, with several historic landmarks nearby, made famous by "the Battle of Cable Street" of 1936.-Location:Cable Street runs between the edge of The City and Limehouse:...

 in a poor district of the East End of London
East End of London
The East End of London, also known simply as the East End, is the area of London, England, United Kingdom, east of the medieval walled City of London and north of the River Thames. Although not defined by universally accepted formal boundaries, the River Lea can be considered another boundary...

, and one with a strong Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 community. He attended St. Paul's School around the corner in Wellclose Square, until his family (of Russian descent) moved to Stepney
Stepney
Stepney is a district of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in London's East End that grew out of a medieval village around St Dunstan's church and the 15th century ribbon development of Mile End Road...

 in 1900, so he could experience Jewish schooling. He left school at the age of fourteen and became an apprentice engraver.

He was interested in both poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 and visual art, and managed to find the finances to attend the Slade School. During his time at Slade School, Rosenberg notably studied alongside David Bomberg
David Bomberg
David Garshen Bomberg was an English painter, and one of the Whitechapel Boys.Bomberg was one of the most audacious of the exceptional generation of artists who studied at the Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks, and which included Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer, C.R.W. Nevinson and Dora Carrington...

, Mark Gertler, Stanley Spencer
Stanley Spencer
Sir Stanley Spencer was an English painter. Much of his work depicts Biblical scenes, from miracles to Crucifixion, happening not in the Holy Land but in the small Thames-side village where he was born and spent most of his life...

, Paul Nash
Paul Nash (artist)
Paul Nash was a British landscape painter, surrealist and war artist, as well as a book-illustrator, writer and designer of applied art. He was the older brother of the artist John Nash.-Early life:...

, Edward Wadsworth
Edward Wadsworth
Edward Alexander Wadsworth was an English artist, most famous for his close association with Vorticism. He painted, often in tempera, coastal views, abstracts, portraits and still-life...

 and Dora Carrington
Dora Carrington
Dora de Houghton Carrington , known generally as Carrington, was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, especially the writer Lytton Strachey....

. He was taken up by Laurence Binyon
Laurence Binyon
Robert Laurence Binyon was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar. His most famous work, For the Fallen, is well known for being used in Remembrance Sunday services....

 and Edward Marsh, and began to write poetry seriously, but he suffered from ill-health.

Afraid that his chronic bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis is a chronic inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs. It is generally considered one of the two forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease...

 would worsen, Rosenberg hoped to try and cure himself by emigrating to the warmer climate of South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, where his sister Mina lived.

He wrote the poem On Receiving News of the War
On Receiving News of the War
On Receiving News of the War is a poem by Isaac Rosenberg which he wrote after hearing of the outbreak of World War I while in Cape Town, South Africa...

in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. While others wrote about war as patriotic sacrifice, Rosenberg was critical of the war from its onset. However, needing employment in order to help support his mother, Rosenberg returned to England in October 1915 and enlisted in the army. He was assigned to the 12th Suffolk Folk Regiment, a 'bantam' battalion (men under 5'3"). After turning down an offer to become a lance corporal, Private Rosenberg was later transferred to the 11th Battalion, The King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment (KORL). He was sent to the Somme
Somme
Somme is a department of France, located in the north of the country and named after the Somme river. It is part of the Picardy region of France....

 on the Western Front
Western Front (World War I)
Following the outbreak of World War I in 1914, the German Army opened the Western Front by first invading Luxembourg and Belgium, then gaining military control of important industrial regions in France. The tide of the advance was dramatically turned with the Battle of the Marne...

 in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 where, having just finished night patrol, he was killed at dawn on April 1, 1918; there is a dispute as to whether his death occurred at the hands of a sniper or in close combat. In either case, Fampoux is the name of the town where he died. He was first buried in a mass grave, but in 1926, his remains were identified and reinterred, not in England, but at Bailleul Road East Cemetery, Plot V, St. Laurent-Blangy, Pas de Calais, France.

In The Great War and Modern Memory, Paul Fussell
Paul Fussell
Paul Fussell is an American cultural and literary historian, author and university professor. His writings cover a variety of genres, from scholarly works on eighteenth-century English literature to commentary on America’s class system...

's landmark study of the literature of the First World War, Fussell identifies Rosenberg's Break of Day in the Trenches as "the greatest poem of the war."

Works

His self-portraits hang in the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain
Tate Britain
Tate Britain is an art gallery situated on Millbank in London, and part of the Tate gallery network in Britain, with Tate Modern, Tate Liverpool and Tate St Ives. It is the oldest gallery in the network, opening in 1897. It houses a substantial collection of the works of J. M. W. Turner.-History:It...

.

A commemorative blue plaque to him hangs outside The Whitechapel Gallery, formerly the Whitechapel Library, which was unveiled by Anglo-Jewish writer Emanuel Litvinoff
Emanuel Litvinoff
Emanuel Litvinoff was a British writer and human rights campaigner, and a well known figure in Anglo-Jewish literature.-Background:...

.

On November 11, 1985, Rosenberg was among 16 Great War poets commemorated on a slate stone unveiled in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

's Poet's Corner. The inscription on the stone was written by a fellow Great War poet, Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Owen
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War...

. It reads: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK