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War poetry essay

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War poetry essay Bracken Hampson-Ragg War poetry is said to have reflected the changing views of society throughout the First World War. There were many poets who stayed back in Britain. They wrote about war to try and get men to sign up. During this time, in 1914 and 1915, men back at home did not have to sign up to the war so the poetry was written to persuade them. The poems written during the war portrayed a lot individually, and also as a whole group. Jessie Pope wrote poetry for the Daily Mail in order to get men to sign up. Pope asks, "who's for the game?" in her poem because men like to compete with each other and play games. She says it's the biggest that's played which attracts men. Pope makes a clear separation between the "men" and the "boys". Males would obviously prefer to be classed as men to prove they are strong. This is why the poem was successful in trying to get men to sign up. Men decide that they'd much rather have a "turn to himself in the show" than "take a seat in the stand" because that is what a real man would do. ...read more.


This can be seen through his use of heavy repeated consonance, for example 'cursed', 'sludge' and 'trudge'. By the second stanza the pace of the poem becomes faster. 'Gas, gas quick boys!' The exclamation marks emphasise this change. After looking at the soldiers from a distance in the first stanza, by the second stanza we are taken in to see true horror of the war. It was horrible and brutal. Wilfred Owen puts this across in his poem well through his use of harsh and immediate language, for example 'Hanging face' and 'froth-corrupted lungs'. He had lost the imagined glory of the patriot. Throughout the poem Owen tells the reader of what war was truthfully like, 'desperate', 'bitter' and 'helpless'. He wanted to show people at home what they were sending their sons to. It was a nightmare that haunted every single soldier in the war. Owen evokes, through graphic imagery, a place that is violent and grim. Owen describes war as 'obscene as cancer'. Cancer is a disease that catches many people who do not deserve it. These men were innocent, they had done nothing or said nothing, that had made them deserve to go to war. Owen tells us of their 'incurable sores on innocent tongues' meaning that they were going to die and nothing could save them. ...read more.


Unlike Wilfred Owen, but similar to Jessie Pope and Harold Begbie, Rupert Brooke glorified war. He used a very different style and tone, yet he put across the same views about war. Brooke believed that God had given the young men the opportunity to fight 'God be thanked who has matched us with his hour'. Brooke also believed that the war cleansed the men 'as swimmers onto cleanness leaping'. During the war there were three main poets who thought war was good and that God had sent it for them as a great opportunity. Jessie Pope, Harold Begbie and Rupert Brooke all believed in war. They wrote their poems at the beginning of the war from 1914-1916. In great contrast to these poets, there were two poets that believed war was a terrible and tragic thing. These men were Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. They fought in the war, which Pope, Begbie and Brooke did not. When they got to the front they realised that they had been lied to by the civilians. When they told people of this through their poems from 1916-1918 people denied it and claimed they had shell shock. Poems reflected many people's views towards the First World War. Individually the poems depicted each persons view of the war in their own way. However, as a group the poems portrayed the desperate lies told by the civilians, and the destroying truth told too late by the soldiers. ...read more.

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