Last updated: 26 march, 2009 - 15:15 GMT

Art and Culture

Poetry from the Front Line

To play this content JavaScript must be turned on and the latest Flash player installed.

Play in either Real OR Windows Media players

BBC War correspondent Jonathan Charles finds out about the poetry being written as a result of the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The connection between poetry and war is well known with writers such as Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. But how is poetry featuring in the current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is its role? Who is writing?

In this programme of mainly unpublished poetry, we see how the thoughts, emotions and ideas of soldiers, relatives and others connected with Iraq and Afghanistan are being translated into powerful poetry.

Foreign correspondent Jonathan Charles spends a great deal of time in Baghdad and other conflict zones. He always travels with an anthology of war poems both as a comfort and talisman.

As he spends time in these places, he has become aware of a growing number of people writing poetry on the subject - from British troops and their families, to established poets.

Jonathan talks to soldiers, and relatives of soldiers who have died, about the poetry which has helped them express themselves.

First broadcast Monday 27 March 2009

Due to copyright restrictions, there is no podcast available

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.