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

The Poems of World War One Can Be Broadly Divided into Three Waves of Sentiment: Recruitment, Experience and Futility - Using at least one poem from each category, show how the attitudes to war changed and are reflected in the work of the war poets.

Extracts from this document...


The Poems of World War One Can Be Broadly Divided into Three Waves of Sentiment: Recruitment, Experience and Futility. Using at least one poem from each category, show how the attitudes to war changed and are reflected in the work of the war poets. I find poetry from the First World War particularly interesting because for many men, war was something far off, which they knew nothing about. Whilst warfare has inspired art in every form; the First World War has undoubtedly been the source of a greater collection of work than any other event of similar magnitude. As I have said, this was probably due to the fact that Britain had not been included in warfare for a while. Possibly one of the most interesting things about First World War poetry is the definite shift in attitude towards war that may be observed. Most of the poetry falls under three headings (recruitment, experience and futility.) In the course of this essay I intend to compare mood, intentions and attitudes expressed in these three different types of poetry. Compared to the morbid attitude of some futility poems, recruitment poetry can seem very vain. Using euphemism and often flippant remarks to produce a false illusion of pride and glory. An example of this euphemism is in "Who's for the game?" by Jessie Pope. Even the title is a metaphor suggesting that war is fun and not dangerous, this metaphor extends throughout the poem. ...read more.


he uses metaphor to describe the fires in the sixth stanza; "crusted dark-red jewels," this suggests that the fires are beautiful but like jewels they are not warm or comforting. In recruitment poetry the poet may often speak about god in a proud and thankful way, for example "Now God be thanked" ("Peace" by Rupert Brooke.) But"For love of god seems dying" implies that poets attitude to god also changed, in experience and futility poetry they begin to loose faith in god and almost rebel against him. Another very famous experience poem, also by Wilfred Own is "Dulce et decorum est. The title actually means it is sweet and fitting to die for your country. The title is ironic and would have probably shocked people back at home as they did think it was sweet and fitting to die for your country. The first stanza describes the men marching back. Owen uses metaphor to create a vivid image of the poor soldiers. He says they are "hags" though they are still young, he also says they wear "sacks" but they don't they are wearing uniform, though it may be tattered. Owen uses these metaphors to compare the soldiers with tramps. We can see that as the war progressed, the poets' began to write very explicit poetry about their experiences, they didn't try to hide or leave out any details because they wanted people to know the truth about war. ...read more.


This idea is backed up in the line "all of them touch him like some queer disease." The line "younger than his youth" I think is meant to mean that he is now older than he was in his youth. This is very similar to a line from "Survivors" by Siegfried Sassoon; "these boys with old scared faces." They both imply that the war has made them old before their time. The line "After matches, carried shoulder high" is ironic because he wanted to be carried high in celebration but now he is being carried shoulder high because he is helpless and cant walk himself. "A god in kilts," implies that he only wanted to join up to become a hero and knew little about war. Then the line "Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer a goal" refers again to him wanting to be a hero. "Smiling they wrote his lie" is sad because it's obvious that he lied about his age, not knowing the truth about the futility of war. "Tonight he noticed how the women's eyes Passed from him to the strong men that were whole." This is explaining how the women that look after him and pity him are much more interested in the men who did not go to war and are still whole. The war changed the world forever, destroyed so many live and the poets were profoundly affected. ...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

    The causes of world war one

    4 star(s)

    This most frustrating of enemies prevented the troops from reaching the trenches of the opposition forces. In some places the wire was reported to be so thick that the barrel of a gun couldn't be forced through it. In some cases corpses were laid across the wire to act as a bridge, and allow the troops to cross.

  2. Imagine that you are a soldier in either World War One or the Crimean ...

    Charlie was troubled at all times, and I cannot say that he didn't have the right to do so.

  1. War poetry - different poets attitudes to war.

    Rosenberg had no belief in war, but he enlisted all the same and served in the ranks in World War I until his death in action in 1918. His Trench Poems included, "Dead Man's Dump" and "Break of Day in the Trenches". WHAT APPEARS TO BE THEIR ATTITUDE TO WAR?

  2. Compare the war poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon - Include an analysis ...

    In the poem on the last line. Sassoon is speaking to the leaders to make it stop 'O Jesu, make it stop'. This shows that Sassoon cares about people who were fighting in the war and knows that they shouldn't have been.

  1. In Flanders Fields by John McCrae, and Suicide In The Trenches by Siegfried Sassoon, ...

    McCrae then goes onto writing about how the soldiers loved, and were loved. The keywords in the sentence being "were", telling us that they are no more. They can no longer go on loving, or fighting, and are laid to rest in Flanders Fields.

  2. Compare the poems from the First World War "In Flanders Field" by John McCrae, ...

    medicines, like morphine which was often used to put a wounded soldier to sleep. In spite of this, the dead soldiers will not be able to sleep unless they feel sure that the living generations will continue their battle with the foe.

  1. Using selected poems by Wilfred Owen, Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon analyse the poets ...

    Finally I will analyse the structure and imagery of 'The Death Bed' by Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery, and like Wilfred Owen he was also anti-war. However, Sassoon had a more extreme point of view than Owen as he demonstrated when he refused to receive a Military Cross.

  2. Compare 2 war poems demonstrating an awareness of the poets' attitudes towards war.

    In "War Photographer", Carol Ann Duffy writes about the photographer, saying "he". She uses the present sense but is not directly addressing the reader. In "Dulce et Decorum Est" however, the poem is started as if the reader is actually there, marching beside the poet, experiencing the horrors.

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