• 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)

    The 'grey' symbolises the colour of fear but also a 'dead-like' image. Grey is colour associated with ashes and dead-bodies. It gives a sense that they are as good as dead as they are about to be massacred after going over the top.

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

    This makes his death even sadder. These verses also describe Owen's dreams; this may link in with the "haunting" mentioned in the first stanza and his "smothering dreams" in the last stanza. Then, in last line he speaks directly to the home front, to make them feel guilty.

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

    He ends the first stanza with, "But nothing happens." The above quote is to be the start of a pattern of phrases that show that the soldiers feel that one day runs into the next and nothing ever happens. It is somewhat ironic as there is a lot happening yet

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

    The idea of alternatives to manliness are again used: 'Who would much rather come back with a crutch Than lie low and be out of the fun.' This shows that people would rather go to war and have something to show of their bravery than be sat at home.

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

    In this poem Brooke feels content to die for his motherland to protect the people left behind, hoping that his efforts will protect them from the enemy. Even if his contributions were extremely small, shown by the comparison of just a single 'pulse' to an 'eternal mind', he is happy

  2. Explain how different pre-1914 poets have explored the theme of Conflict in their poems

    The Light/Dark conflict is also seen in "War" and "Vitai Lamparda" although undeniably playing a more major role in the structuring of the poem. Duty and Profession/Emotional and Personal feelings is yet another conflict that appears in the poems I will be analyzing.

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

    Perhaps it is because of the horrors they have witnessed that the 'summer oozed into their veins, like an injected drug for their bodies' pains'. They have been injured and damaged so severely that even the smallest ray of sunlight is well received.

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

    Each stanza describes a different part of the battle. In the first stanza, the soldiers are riding towards the battle and towards their death. At the time, the soldiers no that they are going to die but this does not change their minds. Tennyson makes it clear to us that there are six hundred men riding to battle and he repeats this throughout the poem.

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