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In this essay I will be comparing the way that Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen portray the war in 'The Rear Guard' and 'Strange Meeting'. I will be writing

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WAR POETRY! In this essay I will be comparing the way that Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen portray the war in 'The Rear Guard' and 'Strange Meeting'. I will be writing about the content of each poem, where each poem is set, what each poem reveals about the war, how each poet uses language and structure in the poems, why I think each poet has written their poem and my personal response to the poems. The poem 'Rear Guard' is about a man who is going through a tunnel and is looking for headquarters. He sees a man lying on the floor as if he was asleep but finds that he is dead. In the end he makes it out of the tunnel. The poem 'Strange Meeting' is about a man who ran into a tunnel after escaping from something. In this poem the man also sees man lying on the floor as if they were asleep, but this time one of the men jumps up - he was a ghost - the man in this poem thinks that he is in hell. During his 'Strange Meeting' the ghost explains how terrible it is to die young. In the end of the poem the ghost tells the man that it was him who killed him, and they should be friends and rest peacefully. ...read more.


Both the poems use a narrator and there is speech used in them both. They are both told as a story of when the men went into the tunnel. The next similarity in the poems is that in both of the poems the tunnel is referred to as hell and people dying. We also know that the men are scared because they move forward slowly as they do not know what danger lies ahead. Some of the poetic techniques used in both the poems are similar. For example; both the poems use irony. The irony used in 'The Rear Guard' is that ' a man is human only when he has died'. This means that the men only realise that the others are human as well when they have died. The example of irony that is used in 'Strange Meeting' is 'the man/narrator wanted to be remembered but war is something that everyone wants to forget'. This means that he wants to be remembered because of fighting in the war but everyone wants to forget the loved ones that died in the war because it was too painful. Another similarity in the poems 'Rear Guard' and 'Strange Meeting' is that they both have a irregular rhyming pattern in them. ...read more.


The last difference in the poems is that in 'Rear Guard' all the way through the tone stays the same most of the time. But in 'Strange Meeting' the tone changes quite a few times. At the beginning he is in a panic and is scared but then there is peace when he feels that the man has 'blessed' him. And then he gets scared and confused again. I think that the poem 'Rear Guard' was written to tell everyone about the bad conditions the men lived in and the way that their lifestyle has changed because of the war and the experiences they had while fighting. I think that the poem 'Strange Meeting' was written to tell everyone that there is no point of wars. It was to tell everyone that nothing was right and that the government was wrong to keep sending men to fight and loose their lives for no reason because the poet Wilfred Owen felt that there was no purpose to war and that there would definitely never be any progress if it all continued the way that it was. I think that the most effective poem is 'Strange Meeting' because it tells us more about what was happening and also makes us feel sympathy per the men that lose their lives because it is very effective and makes us feel that the men are fading away (dying). ...read more.

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