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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.

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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