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Comparison of Three First World War Poems

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Comparison of Three First World War Poems The three poems that I will be studying in this essay are "Dulce Et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen, "Comrades: An Episode" by Robert Nichols and "Who's For The Game?" by Jessie Pope. These poems are about the First World War and two of them seem to have a negative attitude criticising and downgrading the so-called spectacular experience of the First World War. In "Dulce Et Decorum Est" Wilfred Owen seems to mention good aspects of the War but compares them to low-class tragic events. In "Comrades: An Episode" Robert Nichols describes the event of a soldier being badly injured and eventually dying. It describes what the corporals and soldiers did and how they reacted to the situation. However, Jessie Pope's poem "Who's For the Game?" talks about war as if it is a joke and the scary aspect of the war is taken away. In each poem a different picture emerges in one's head. In "Dulce Et Decorum Est" similes are used quite regularly to create dreamlike settings and haunting images that provide a vivid picture of the realities of warfare. To the general public soldiers were seen as heroes but the first line of this poem ruins that image by describing the soldiers as "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks". ...read more.


Quite often in the poem there are breaks in a verse - these breaks seem to have no meaning: or just has a hidden purpose. The progression between verses is just the progression of the story. Robert Nichols has structured his poem like this, as it seemed appropriate. He used the rhyming pattern AABB but this does not apply to the entire poem. In some parts of the poem the pattern changes and seems to be lost, this is in the larger verse, which contains the main parts of description. After this verse the pattern of AABB returns and the poem end with this pattern. Jessie Pope's poem has four verses with four lines in each of them. Every other line starts with the word "who" excluding the last verse. The last verse acts as a summary of the first three verses. Jessie Pope structured this poem in a simple formation because she saw the poem to be clear and blunt. Her poem reflects her simplistic attitude towards war. Not only do the words in the poem match her attitude but the rhyming pattern follows it as well. The pattern ABAB is used throughout the poem, it does not change or became more complicated. ...read more.


Both of the poems are trying to point out that the war is not a jolly thing for men who will come back as heroes. The reality is that most men will not arrive home at all, and the ones that will arrive home will not want to talk about their dreadful time at war. The soldiers that attended the war will be emotionally and most likely physically scared. The war should be known for its true meaning and not the fake outside look of it. The poem "Who's for the game?" is has the opposite view to these poems. War is described as a game, just a bit of fun and that if all these lucky men who have the opportunity to go, in fact don't go, they will be missing out. There is also a bit of guilt in this poem, it is at the end. By mentioning the trouble that their country is in, it makes men who have not joined feel bad that they have let their country down and be led to such a bad state. When men thought this, they automatically thought that they have to help and mend what has gone terribly wrong. I find all three poems extremely interesting because of all the different approaches taken to get their point across and their ideas heard. ...read more.

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