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

What characterises the early poetry of World War 1?

Extracts from this document...


What characterises the early poetry of World War 1? In this essay, I am going to explore the similarities and differences between different WW1 poetry. I will be looking into the points that the poems show and comparing them with each other. Different poems are written for different reasons and they are written to show different things. In terms of the realities of war, 'In Flanders Fields' is the only poem that truly shows this. This is because John McCrae wanted to show the realities of war because his friend had died during the war, this meant that McCrae was determined to show the realities of war and not let people think that it was 'easy' or 'fun' as people said it was. "We are the dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow" (In Flanders Fields) This shows that war isn't all that good. It explains quite bluntly that they are dead, this is to show the harsh realities of war. It represents that they no longer have lives because they are soldiers and so do nothing else but fight. ...read more.


Nevertheless, there are some poems such as 'Into Battle' that only state the positive points about war and even the bad aspects are described as something positive and are seen as propaganda. Another example of 'toning death down' and making it seem not so bad is: "War's annals will fade into night Ere their story die." (At time of 'The Breaking of Nations') This describes death in a subtle way and it represents that it is the end; this is shown by saying that 'their story die' and that it has faded 'into night'. Some of the poems show strong patriotism that is often also used to encourage people to enlist and to make war sound positive. "Went thundering past beneath the oriflamme." (The Volunteer) This shows patriotism to England. The flag represents the country and that he is proud to fight. In a similar way, 'Into Battle' also shows patriotism: "The fighting man shall from the sun Take warmth and life from the glowing earth" (Into Battle) This also shows patriotism and works in a similar way to the quote from 'The Volunteer' and encourages people to enlist in the war, which is also linked to propaganda. ...read more.


For example, in 'Song of the soldier', the first and last stanza are exactly the same, and the first and last two lines are the same in every stanza. Overall, my favourite poem is 'In Flanders Fields', this is because it is not a propaganda poem. The problem I find with propaganda poems is that they are often extremely biased and so lie about the bad things to make them sound positive. In my opinion 'In Flanders Fields' shows the true realities of war and does not 'tart' it up to something it is not. I also like how it has a pleasant pace and rhymes well but then it suddenly drops the pace when the last line of the second and third stanza is read, I think this shows how everything can be going well and then something unexpected happens like the death of a friend which is upsetting and it can change your life so much. Word Count: 1140 ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 of 5 Ryan Blake Randall English Literature - Mr Johnson ...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 Comparative Essays 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 Comparative Essays essays

  1. Compare 'The Lamb' and 'The Tyger' by William Blake

    Also perhaps this could mean that the tiger is misunderstood and God loves the tiger, but we as inferior beings do not understand why He would put such a seemingly terrifying creature into our world.

  2. Comparative Poetry Essay - "The Thought Fox" and "Digging"

    In the fourth stanza, Hughes talks about the fox's "neat prints". We can see a similarity here between this poem and Digging, because "neatly" is an adverb used to describe the actions of Heaney's grandfather, whom he admires greatly. Similarly, in the fifth stanza, Hughes describes the fox's eye using

  1. Duffy- Feminist Propaganda?

    till bitter dawn' this quote suggests that she and the queens were alone together until dawn. Dawn has the connotations of a new beginning, this could be referring to the new sexuality she has found. Throughout the poem the word 'Queen' is capitalised, indicating the word to be a key

  2. "English poets are being forced to explore not just the matter of England, but ...

    Dawn' for example, the social is related to the evolution of the landscape.6 'October Dawn' sets a precarious civilisation against the puissant force of nature, a battle which civilisation inevitably loses. This poem emphasises that western culture is subject to the benevolence of the earth, and can be reclaimed at any point.

  1. I have decided to look at 'God's Grandeur' by G.M Hopkins, 'Death be Not ...

    Wordsworth was always known to celebrate nature as a source of joy and inspiration but when he wrote "Earth has not anything to show more fair:" As first lines go this one if you know, the poet is very strong and sets the tone of amazement and splendour for the whole sonnet.

  2. The Early Purges Vs Daffodils

    Then he dances as the daffodils are dancing which can be explained as the celebration of "Bliss of solitude". Seamus Heaney has grown in a farm in Ireland. He used to see violence everyday and more importantly it started to happen in his childhood when he was nothing but a little innocent child.

  1. The Historyof War Poetry and the works of Wilfred Owen

    Catherine Soanes and Angus Stevenson, The Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford University Press, 2005, war poet noun. 4) The Times, Southern Germany, 29 September 1848. 5) Margaret Drabble, The Oxford Companion to English Literature , 6th Ed, 2000, p.

  2. English Lit poetry essay

    structure it gives the impression that the traveller is very laid back about his journey. He does not mind what choices or paths he takes and therefore has laid the poem out to reflect this. Nevertheless, the poem still does make the reader work at understanding the underlying meanings.

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