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How did the war poetry of the 1st world war change as the war went on anillusions were shattered?

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How did the war poetry of the 1st world war change as the war went on an illusions were shattered? Introduction The First World War broke out on the 4th of august 1914. It was the first major war near bye Europe for hundreds of years. It sparked fantasies of becoming a war hero in young boys' and men's minds and because the government had assured everyone that the war would be over by Christmas, those young boys and men decided to join up in an attempt not to miss the excitement of war. Little did they know that they were being led to an untimely death at the hands of Germany! Poets were also just as patriotic as the men going to fight. Because of this patriotism the poets wrote about how glamorous the war was and how good it felt to die for ones country. This was all in an attempt along with many others such as propaganda to keep the number of men high enough to replace those who were lost. These men did see action but they were all mainly middle class people and the youngsters amongst them joined up together, full of patritisom and the desire to fight. But, before the front, they had to be trained. Because of this they did not see the true horrors of war and carried on writing patriotic poems. Fortunately for men still joining the war some poets such as Wilfred Owen did see the horrors of war and wrote very unpatriotic poems such as Dulcet ET Decorum Est., which was one of his most famous poems. And one of my own favourite ones. "Who's for the game" is the first war poem; this is recruitment poem written to encourage young men to fight for king and country. Jessie Pope wrote the poem in 1914 for the Daily Mail newspaper. Pope was rather accomplished and well to do with no experience of the war, she wanted to convey to people that war is a game and that it will be over by the Christmas of 1915, and of course it wasn't. ...read more.


Siegfried Sassoon was a great influence and inspiration to Owen when they met at Craiglockhart hospital. He did affect a lot of Owens work, which was a good thing. 'Exposure' by Wilfred Owen is a poem about being in the trenches during the winter 'worried by silence' makes the men weary as it always Tremendously noisy but nothing happens. Wilfred Owen is writing from his own occurrences and experiences and views. Everything is true fact not fiction, the complete opposite to Jessie pope. Owen is truly conveying the reality of war. He uses all of the senses, cold, smell; touch He says that the longer they are there, the more the misery grows. There are frequent outbreaks of shooting and heavy shelling. It all gives you a crystal clear picture that they are cold, freezing, hungry. Owen sees the elements as the enemy, so he personifies the wind, the snow which 'comes finguring', even the 'brambles' of barbed wire. And they all just think of past times, as where they are is a complete living hell. This is a very deep and serious poem and of course it is all true. "Dulcet et Decorum Est," is probably the most famous anti-war poem by Wilfred Owen. It has a harsh meaning and persuasive argument. The anti-war theme and serious tone are effective at portraying war as horrid and devastating. I felt overpowered by blood, guts and death. Although my reaction hasn't changed much through numerous readings, my emotional feelings become more intense with each reading. This poem makes me feel as if I am right there watching the soldier who cannot fasten his mask fast enough and suffers the full effects of deadly gas. 'but someone still is yelling out and stumbling'. This poem also makes me look beyond the death and question the pain inflicted on the mothers who kissed their sons goodbye as they went to defend their country. ...read more.


This was a very regular occurrence to happen to a mother that lost her son and many mothers got the same letter as someone else, which must have been rather upsetting to later find out. This poem is a combination of emotion, pride, sadness, bitterness and loneliness. Another well known one of Owens is 'Anthem of doomed youth' which concentrates on mainly the horror of war, and Especially the death of young men on the front line. This poem is a traditional which is not surprising considering the education and experience the poet Siegfried Sassoon had over this author Wilfred Owen. The first four lines of the poem emphasize the contrast between the battlefields and home life 'what passing bells for these who die as cattle' this reminded him of the English countryside and the innocence of life in peacetime. The main subject is of a funeral. The poem asks if there will be a funeral at all. What passing bells will ring for the dead? None just the drone of the rifle and machine gun fire and the screaming and whimpering of the men who are in deep agony. What funeral pal will there be? There wont be know family relatives just maybe friends' because the family will be at home worrying and waiting. But your friends will be there, as they'll probably be lying there with you in the trench or shell hole. Owen is saying that everyone deserves a funeral especially all these war heroes that have given up their life. There is no dignity here even in death. In the long and tedious four years that the Great War lasted, 1914-1918, the world saw some very extreme poetry. There were three main aspects of poetry; recruitment poems for example Jessie Popes who's for the game and some very heroic poetry such as brooks 'peace' and along with reality poems, such as exposure and disabled by Wilfred Owen. The Great War affected many people's families and lives, and to me this seems that all the Great War poets found this to convey their feelings and emotions to the world. ...read more.

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