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Which of Wilfred Owens poems do you particularly admire and why?

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Wilfred Owen Poetry Which of Wilfred Owens poems do you particularly admire and why? Personally I do not have a particular interest in war poetry, so when I was faced with this essay question I feared that I wouldn't admire any of Wilfred Owens poetry. I was in fact wrong. My experience of war poetry was somewhat different to that of Owens. I believe this is due to the fact that Owen was writing about the First World War; this was indeed very different to any other war ever fought in the world before. Not only was World War One the first war in which the entire world was involved it was also the first war where the "young brave wives" (The Dead-Beat) saw actual pictures and footage of the war and its "carnage incomparable" (Mental Cases). Where before all people at home knew of war was "the old lie" (Dulce et Decorum est) written by civilians, most of which had never experienced the horror of war for themselves and were writing secondary sources. Owen did not write to tell of the glory and honour of War or of the heroics and patriotism of dying for your country, like most of his time, instead he wrote to challenge and accuse an establishment that sent an entire generation to their doom, and to inform the ordinary people of the "untold truth" (Strange Meeting.) ...read more.


This poem is homage to the men that died "as cattle". In this poem Owen confronts the fact the soldiers receive no more than "the monstrous anger of the guns" and "choirs of wailing shells" as funerals. He takes the two juxtaposing ideas of war and a funeral and makes them fit together uncomfortably, he claims that there orisons will be said through the "patter" of the "stuttering rifles". Owen describes any prayers or bells that are said for the soldiers by the authority as "mockeries", as the men and boys were sent deliberately to fight and die. Owen writes with tender respect for the dead soldiers throughout this poem and yet he also shows complete disgust for the establishment that damned so many young men to die in horrific circumstances with not so much as a candle to "speed them all". He writes how the only candles lit for the dying are the "holy glimmer of goodbyes" that can be seen in their own eyes as they slip away. This poem along with many others of Owens shows "the pity of war" (Strange Meeting".) Owens disgust is shown not only in Anthem for Doomed Youth but in many others of his poems as well. In The Send Off Owen comes across as believing that there is a conspiracy lead by the establishment that is sending young men to fight in the war. ...read more.


Its ideas however are very different to those used in Owens. The Volunteer is full of patriotism, the poem talks only of honour and valour of dying in battle, and hides the real consequences of war. The poem is used to glorify death and to encourage and persuade other young men to do as the soldier in the poem has and to have their "lance broken but...lie content", or as Owen would have said, to be mentally, and physically battered and then buried with no funeral. The Soldier, Rupert Brooke, does the same and hides any realism of war. It is pure patriotism, and a celebration of England and her glory. The land that the dead soldiers are buried in is described as "rich earth, a richer dust concealed." This poem is what Owen challenged in all of his poems, as he believed it to be the "old lie" and its author, Rupert Brooke, is exactly the kind of person he was writing to inform and educate about the horror of war. Before Owen war poetry oozed with glory, duty, heroism and honour. By careful use of propaganda it became believed that the glory of dying for your country "will never die", it was all these fairy tail ideas if war that Owen challenged and fought with his realism and honesty. I respect and admire every one of Owens poems, for they are the vicious truth. Vikki Kirkpatrick 11BH ...read more.

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