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Studied First world War poems from "War Poems" by C. Martin. Considered them in the social, historical and cultural context of the time.

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4th February 2002 How were different attitudes to the First World War reflected in the poetry of the period? Task - Studied First world War poems from "War Poems" by C. Martin. Considered them in the social, historical and cultural context of the time. Conditions - Done in class In 1914 England declared war on Germany, at the time Lord Kitchener was made Minister of War. He started up a great campaign to sign up men top the army. He believed that what England needs the most to win the war was men. So he started to try and persuade the male population to sign up. This was done in many ways such as in music halls. There were women up on stage singing song about signing up for the armed forces, they would give a reward of a kiss to those who signed up then and there. They also used posters and propaganda to make people join the army. Poems were also used and published in newspapers to show men what they would be fighting for and why they should sign up. ...read more.


Instead of thanking god for the war, his title is "God, How I hate you". Even though this is not how it sounds it starts by meaning that he does not like the war. He even goes as far as quoting from another poem by Hugh Freston. Freston says in his poem "Oh happy to have lived these epic days". Then in West's poem he says! And he'd been to France" this shows that his attitude it totally against the war and that Freston must be lying because he had been in the trench in France. In the rest of poem he describes the war in a way to make the reader believer the war is not a good thing, and we should not thank God for it. In the next poem, "Into Battle", by Julian Grenfell, he is telling the story of a spring offensive (There was always a large battle in the spring to try and end the stalemate on the western front). He tells it in such a way that war sounds like a very nice thing to be in. ...read more.


This is because the word anthem is often used for solemn songs rather than poems. In the poem he compares the death, funeral and burial of those in the trenches and those home in England. In the beginning he compares the death of those going over the top and the slaughter of cattle at a abattoir in the line: "What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?" He continues on to compare many different things. The whole of this poem is showing that his attitude is also against the war, just like Sassoon's. Another of Owens poems "Dulce et Decorum est", is the story of a group of soldiers leaving the front line in the middle of the night, but when they are nearly there and there is a gas attack. He uses many different writing styles to make poem more effectively solemn. He uses similes "like old beggars under sacks", metaphors "Men marched asleep", consonance "guttering, choking, drowning", alliteration "watch the white eyes writhe" and repetition. These appeal to the reader and make the mood of the poem more extreme. There were many different attitudes to the Great War all through it. The poems and what and how they write about it show some of them. 61959 D.Booth D.Booth 1 09/05/2007 ...read more.

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