• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Show, through the study of at least four poems, how the poets of the First World War felt about the conflict.

Extracts from this document...


Show, through the study of at least four poems, how the poets of the First World War felt about the conflict When the Great War broke out in 1914 many young men from all around the world turned to poetry to express their varied emotions about the situation. It is from these poems that we can tell how soldiers felt about the war. After studying many World War One poems there is an obvious difference between the poems that emerged at the beginning of the war to those that surfaced from 1917/1918 when the war was coming to a close. This diversity in war poetry of this time can be explained by looking at the different armies that were fighting at the time. 1914 began with great elaboration with long columns of smiling, eager soldiers parading of to the war with high spirits and no doubts. These first armies were highly trained, patriotic and eager to fight for their home country. This is when poems spoke about 'dying to save your country'. Rupert Brooke's sonnet 'The Soldier' was written in 1914, at the beginning of the war. In this Brooke invokes the ideas of spiritual cleansing in 'all evil shed away', memory of the dead, and the soldier's immortal legacy to prove themselves for their home country and combines it with his personal loyalty to England. ...read more.


He uses poppies as the metaphor because poppies would grow in the trenches when all other flowers had not survived. This is particularly relevant to the last stanza because McRae goes in to talk about a never ending 'quarrel with the foe' '. The last stanza seems to show McRae's more patriotic side because the verse gives the impression that he is challenging the future generations to fight on. It is specifically obvious in 'To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high.' This poem by John McRae mixes the obvious feelings of mourning, sorrow and regret with the also apparent feelings that the fight must go on. This poem still has hints at patriotism, which was becoming less common as the war dragged on. As 1915 was drawing to close and the long war lay ahead we can see that the poems that emerge here were significantly less patriotic and disillusioned than the early war poems. The conscription armies who were made up of people that didn't want to be there were replacing the keen, enthusiastic armies. It was at this time that Wilfred Owens poems began to surface. ...read more.


It seems there is a lot of emotion in that line because throughout the poem Owen has woven his strong anti war feelings into the poem letting them build up until the end. This combination of intense language, vivid imagery and poetic devices work together to show the reader Owens pacifistic view on the conflict. 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' was written in 1917 and is one of Wilfred Owens more intense poems. From the title we can see that the poem is morbid from 'Doomed' and because the word 'Youth' is used it automatically makes the poem more emotional because young men will go to their deaths and this will touch the readers heart. The theme of the poem is looking at how a soldiers death is viewed in comparison to a civilians death. He seems to be talking about the injustice of not having a proper funeral. In the first line Owen strikes the intense comparison between the soldiers lives and those of cattle. This is how he feels the soldiers are thought of, just cattle going to the slaughter. He particularly hints at the fact that soldiers have no glamorous, celebrated or glorious funerals but just a 'passing bell' or a flicker of a candles thought. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level War Poetry essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Wilfred Owen's Anthem for Doomed Youth and Siegfried Sassoon's Attack - Explore the ways ...

    4 star(s)

    time to stop hoping that this will stop the war: 'O Jesu, make it stop!' The idea of the second half of this poem is that it had become nearly impossible to stop these innocent solders from dying. He suggests this in line 9: 'Lines of grey, muttering faces, masked with fear'.

  2. The Poems of World War One Can Be Broadly Divided into Three Waves of ...

    I think we can see that they were slightly shocked themselves and wanted to spread the truth. In the second stanza, Owen describes a gas attack and how one man is too slow. Owen uses a metaphor to describe the man choking in the gas; "floundering" He is comparing a man choking in gas to drowning in water.

  1. The First World War changed the way that people thought about war and patriotism. ...

    Owen feels that they are stranded in a hell where they don't know what is going on away from their trench. In the second stanza, the wind is personified again and is described as 'mad' and 'tugging on the wire.'

  2. Compare and contrast the attitudes to the First World War in the poetry you ...

    to 'give somewhere back the thoughts England given', meaning to repay his beloved England by protecting her for all that she has provided him with. He values England and wishes to preserve her 'laughter', 'friends' and 'gentleness' for the future.

  1. From the pre-1914 selection, choose two poems that show different attitudes towards war and ...

    Here, we are told that even though the soldiers knew someone had blundered and made the commander give them that order, they still obeyed the commands and continued on to battle. Tennyson emphasis the fact that the men were solely devoted to their duty.

  2. What difference did the experience of fighting in the First World War make to ...

    and laughter...under an English heaven.' This poet shows his personal view by continually repeating 'England' or 'English' which shows why he would die for his country, as he loves it so much. Even after the war began, patriotic poetry of this nature continued to be written.

  1. Contrast the poetry at the beginning of the First World War with that produced ...

    This is a form of attacking their consciences and is almost making them feel embarrassed about being scarred of a "game" just like any other. Personally, I don't equate the word "war" with the terms' "game, or fun", and in a large section of pre-war poems these words were used .

  2. "The First World War poets were able to affect the emotions of their readers. ...

    stanza, as the men 'Know their feet have come to the end of the world'. This dramatic way of phrasing the soldier's situation is an effective use of language as the end of the world is the most desperate situation and maybe this is how the soldiers are feeling.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work