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James Kirkup's poem pleads for "No More Hiroshimas". Earlier in the 20th Century, Wilfred Owen confronted his readers with the pity of war (for example "Strange Meeting"). Compare these two texts. Which speaks more clearly to you?

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Introduction

James Kirkup's poem pleads for "No More Hiroshimas". Earlier in the 20th Century, Wilfred Owen confronted his readers with the pity of war (for example "Strange Meeting"). Compare these two texts. Which speaks more clearly to you? "No More Hiroshimas" by James Kirkup, and "Strange Meeting" by Wilfred Owen are both war poems and both poets try to warn civilians about the pity of war. A common theme throughout both of these poems is the fact that the poets both believe that war is halting humanity moving forward and evolving, but yet it is moving mankind back in time. "The river remains unchanged, sad, refusing rehabilitation" (No More Hiroshimas) James Kirkup thinks that the town of Hiroshima does not want to move forward because they are living in the past. He believes the town relies too heavily on the tourism from the atrocities that occurred there. Wilfred Owen considers war also to be stopping modern society developing, and has no importance in today's world. Both of these poets deem war to be an ancient custom, which is not appropriate in the world nowadays. ...read more.

Middle

Money is a constant theme throughout Kirkup's poem unlike Wilfred Owen, who is more worried about the lives of soldiers instead of the respect of the victims. "Here atomic peace is geared towards the tourist trade" (No More Hiroshimas) He is saying here that stopping wars is second to the financial gain of the residents. Both James Kirkup and Wilfred Owen want was to be a thing of the past, but they think this cannot happen if the people are more interested in the heroism and bravery of war compared to the rehabilitation and reality of war. Both poets believe war to be unacceptable. War has left them without hope because of the memories that they have. After wars, the feeling of the town is cold and dead. A distressing scene is left to rot, but for what reason? "A hideous pile, the Atomic Bomb Explosion Centre, freezing cold." Neither of the poets believes that war is the answer, and after the bomb on Hiroshima, the reader gets a view of the waste of life and the mindless destruction of earth that war creates. ...read more.

Conclusion

"Let it remain like this, for all the world to see, without nobility or loveliness, and dogged with shame that is beyond all hope of indignation." (No More Hiroshimas) There is no respect in the "souvenir-shops piled with junk" and the pity of war is that people are so shallow that they try to cover over all that has happened with the "shallow permanence" of souvenirs and tourism In conclusion, I believe James Kirkup's poem, "No More Hiroshimas" to be the poem that speaks most clearly to me because it is a more direct and graphic portrayal of the suffering of war. He explains in more detail the superficiality of the residents, and the touching memorials of the victims give the reader a more vivid depiction of how people endured the war. Wilfred Owen has a more indirect approach and shows the reader the hell of war, but James Kirkup gives the reader real life examples and his simple language makes it much clear for the reader to truly understand the pity of war. Tom Wood 11A1 30/9/2002 Page 1 ...read more.

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