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Compare and contrast the different attitudes towards war that you have studied in the Martin anthology.

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Introduction

Q. Compare and contrast the different attitudes towards war that you have studied in the Martin anthology. War has many different viewpoints. Some say that going to war is an adventure, and a way of becoming a hero, but others - usually those who have experienced it - say otherwise. Many people have written poetry on war - some advertising war as a good thing, and others recalling their harrowing experiences. Jessie Pope was a poet who I will be writing about. Her poems can be described as propagandist. Another poet who was pro war was Rupert Brooke. Poets who were very anti-war included Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. As mentioned, Jessie Pope was a poet who saw war as a good thing. In one of her poems called 'Who's for the game?' she portrays war as a sports game such as rugby: 'Who'll grip and tackle the job unafraid?' Pope encourages young men to sign up by making war sound really fun: 'Than lie low and be out of the fun'. Pope even makes the soldiers that don't sign up feel guilty by writing 'Your country is up to her neck in a fight, and she's looking and calling for you', and uses familiarities such as 'Come along, lads'. The purpose of this poem was to persuade young men to join the army. ...read more.

Middle

from the froth corrupted lungs' 'Dulce et decorum est' makes war sound like hell, totally unlike the rugby match that Jessie Pope made war out to be. At the end of his poem, Wilfred Owen sums up the poem to Jessie Pope in the words: 'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory, The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.' A poem that is very comparable to 'Dulce et decorum est' is 'God! How I hate you' by Arthur Graeme West. There are three main similarities between the two poems. Firstly, they are both anti-war poems, secondly the poems both mention pro-war poets, and finally, both poems give graphic images to the reader. 'God! How I hate you' begins by 'taking the mick' out of those like Brooke and Pope who wrote 'happy-clappy' poems about war, just like Owen did: 'God! How I hate you, you young cheerful men, Whose pious poetry blossoms on your graves As soon as you are in them'. He writes sarcastically, imitating them: '"Oh happy to have lived these epic days"'. Later in the poem West uses grim details to tell Brooke and Pope what war was really like: 'His neck against the back slope of the trench, And the rest doubled between, his head Smashed like an eggshell and the warm grey brain Spattered all bloody on the parados...' ...read more.

Conclusion

Owen compares the ways in which the soldiers died to the way a normal person would die: Firstly, the prayers are depicted as machine guns, because that is the only noise that comes from the soldier before he dies, so it is like his last prayer: 'Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle can patter out their hasty orisons'. The singing choir is portrayed as the wailing shells that are going off around them when they die: 'The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells'. The candles around the coffin are illustrated as the glimmer from the soldiers' eyes that are around them: What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes'. The flowers are depicted as the suffering relatives of the dead soldiers: 'Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds'. The two poems are both very poignant because they make you realise how the soldiers never got to say goodbye to their loved ones, or die peacefully. In conclusion there are many different opinions whether war is good or bad. I would most probably believe poems written by Owen and others who actually experienced war. These poems are more often than not anti-war, so are therefore more reliable. Poetry goes deeper than the facts because the poets tend to be writing their memories, as if it were a diary, so you get a very different picture of war when reading poetry than reading a textbook. Emma Donatantonio English Coursework - Poetry Comparison 11/12/07 1 ...read more.

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