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War poetry analysis

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Introduction

There are many different approaches to war in the poetry I have read. Some are very jingoistic and strongly encourage conscription. They use a wide range of colloquial language and often use puns to play on the emotions of the reader and make their poems more interesting. A good example of a poem of this type is, "Who's for the Game?" by Jessie Pope. This kind of war poetry has often been criticised by other poets with a more serious and realistic view to war. One of the most famous war poets, Wilfred Owen has a completely different approach. Having been a soldier in the war, his work was greatly influenced by all the death and suffering he had experienced. This gives a less idealistic view, based more on fact, not encouraging people to enlist. The third poem I have chosen shows a more modern opinion particularly to nuclear war. It is completely different to both of the other poems I have chosen because it is about a slightly different issue. It is also very anti- war but unlike Owen it does not dwell on death and fear but tells us how quickly the world could end. "Who's for the Game?" is completely different to "Dulce et Decorum est" and "Icarus Allsorts" as it takes the totally opposite approach to war by encouraging people to enlist and is very positive about the whole idea of war by portraying it as, "The red crashing game of a fight." ...read more.

Middle

He also mocks the idea that it is sweet and wonderful to die for your country. The poet describes war to be as "obscene as cancer." This is a far cry from the fun game that war seemed to be insinuating by Jessie Pope. Owen uses adjectives to express his views on war and seemed to be greatly influenced by all the death he experienced during his time as a soldier. This is the completely opposite approach tothe one taken by Jessie Pope who seems to think that the worst injury to be sustained during war would be to break a few bones and need a crutch. She seemed to have no concept of the seriousness of war where as Owen did. I think a lot of soldiers who have experienced the reality of war can relate to "Dulce et Decorum est" as it is based on fact not fiction. Wilfred Owens use of language had a great impact on me, the reader when I read this poem as his use of vocabulary is shockingly bitter and blunt. Even though I had no idea of what it would be like to experience war, I already knew I did not want to when I read it. Owen uses very negative words such as obscene, cancer, old beggars, hags and many more to describe how he feels about war. The poem has less rhythm than "Who's for the Game?" ...read more.

Conclusion

"Icarus Allsorts" and "Dulce et Decorum est" have slightly different contexts as Owens' is written about first hand experience in fighting in a war where as McGough's is about the effects of nuclear war from an activists view point. Both poets use of language and structure of their poems are very different. "Dulce et Decorum est" has less rhythm than "Icarus Allsorts" and stronger, more hard- hitting adjectives are used to portray the image where as McGough uses rhymes to make his poem more memorable. Owens more realistic portrayal of war is opposed by McGough's nursery- rhyme style as it seems a very trivial and disrespectful way to describe a far more serious matter such as nuclear war as at least with a war such as World War two. It is awful that so many soldiers died but the war itself did not wipe out every living thing on the planet! Overall, I feel I have benefited from my experience in studying war poetry as it has made me more aware of the different styles and ways in which poetry can be written and how poets can get their views across by using methods such as making it sound like a nursery rhyme in the style of Roger McGough or disillusioning the reader by saying that war is one thing when it is actually another in the style of Jessie Pope. I have a deeper understanding of this style of poetry and wish to extend this knowledge further in the future! Charlotte Vines 10C ...read more.

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