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The poets at the beginning of the first world war portray unrealistic attitudes towards war, and as Houseman states "They saved the sum of things for pay" sarcastically insinuating that our soldiers risked their own lives for money.

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Introduction

The poets at the beginning of the first world war portray unrealistic attitudes towards war, and as Houseman states "They saved the sum of things for pay" sarcastically insinuating that our soldiers risked their own lives for money, when defending their country. He writes in a sarcastic tone even though the mood is pathos, and personifies the earth when its "foundations fled". The structure of his poem "Epitaph on an army of Mercenaries" is in two quatraines with a regular rhyme to keep it so simple to bring the message across more starkly. The young men who went to fight for their country went with a certainty that theirs was a just war and as Sassoon states "they are fortunate who fight" in his short poem "France" where he personifies war, saying "She triumphs" and sees it as "Victory and delight". The language he uses glorifies war and death for the "gleaming landscapes" which is ironic when thinking about the dire conditions of the war. The "Early Visions" poets were very patriotic towards the war. For example, Herbert Asquith's poem "The Volunteer" portrays an unrealistic attitude, for he describes it in a way that was nothing like the First World ...read more.

Middle

As in Robert Nichol's poem "noon" he describes the soldiers being "like cattle in a pen", waiting to be slaughtered. He introduces us to this horrific situation where the soldiers don't know whether they are coming or going. The first stanza is almost like a contrast to war as it describes "The hot wind puffs" and "The great sun rakes the skies" of midday. Although the soldiers are left doing nothing in these trenches, life around them is still pressing on as normal "A buzz and a blaze of flies" which could be rather frustrating. Although there is no human activity, the verbs are active. Nichols then goes on to describe what he sees around him where "Forty standing men endure the sweat and grit and stench", as if like "Cattle in a pen", the first three stanzas have no activity in them for he is looking at nature around him and thinking of what sometimes happens "sometimes a snipers bullet whirs" " sometimes a soldier sighs and stirs". Then stanza four goes back to activity where everything is happening "From out of a high cool cloud descends an aeroplanes far moan", but the men are still standing. ...read more.

Conclusion

The poem is crude in its context but extremely direct for he gets his point across to the readers in a straightforward colloquialism. The poem is written in three stanzas with a regular rhyming pattern in each stanza which reflects the other stanzas. It is written in total pity for the soldiers and the bitterness is extremely hard hitting. Wilfred Owen's poem "Inspection" spells out the irony of war proclaiming that it is not our own human race causing this destruction but it is our God who we all love and respect, taking all his young men back for his inspection in the sky, therefore it is of a good cause, for "The race will bear Field-Marshal God's inspection". Owen uses this type of irony because the war was wiping out all our youth which he declares as "The world is washing out its stains". This poem is the bitter satire of the waste, indignity and lost of our youthful men and Owen declares this in an unintelligent way so that it comes across ridiculous or hateful to his readers. There is a neat contrast between what he seems to say, and the effect that he intends to have on his readers. This seems to appear a lot in the "bitter satire" of this poets work. ...read more.

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