Plowman, Max

(1883-1941)
   Born in Tottenham, London, he was educated at various private schools. By the outbreak of World War I he had established himself as journalist and a romantic poet, and although he considered the war insane, he felt it his duty to join up as his way of dealing with it. He enlisted in the Territorial Field Ambulance on Christmas Eve, 1914, then accepted a commission in an infantry regiment. In 1917 he suffered concussion from an exploding shell and was returned to Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh. His collection of poems, A Lap Full of Seed, in October 1917, contains only eight poems about the war, but all the poems are about individual responsibility. His other book, The Right to Live, was published anonymously in 1918. His request to be discharged from the Army on religious grounds was denied; he was court-martialed and discharged, although he escaped a prison sentence. He joined Dick Sheppard's Peace Pledge Union after the war and became its secretary in 1937-38. He was buried in Langham churchyard, Essex. Some of his poems: "Her Beauty," "The Dead Soldiers," "When It's Over."
   Sources: Biography of Max Plowman by Michele Fry (http://www.sassoonery.demon.co.uk/plowman.htm). Oldpoetry (www.oldpoetry.com). Plowman (Max) Papers at University College, London. AIM25: University College London: Plowman Papers (http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgibin/frames/fulldesc?inst_id=13&coll_id=1650). Poetry of the World Wars. Michael Foss, ed. Peter Bedrick Books, 1990. Subaltern on the Somme: Max Plowman. Naval and Military Press, 2001. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Home Book of Verse. Burton Egbert Stevenson, ed. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1953.

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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