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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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