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Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon both were brave officers in the war. Neither was pressurised to join the fronts but volunteered.

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Introduction

Emmily Nonas 10W Poetry Assignment 18th December 2004 Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon both were brave officers in the war. Neither was pressurised to join the fronts but volunteered. Wilfred Owen was born in 1893 in Oswestry, Shropshire. He was a son of a railway worker and poetry had been encourage by his mother since boyhood. Owen returned to France in August 1918 and won the Military Cross in September. He was sadly killed on the 4th of November 1918, one week before the war ended. On the 11th of November when the war ended at eleven am, news of his death reached his family. Siegfried Sassoon also won the Military Cross for courage and fought at several battles. He came from a wealthy, banking family, a very different background from Wilfred Owen. Owen and Sassoon met when they were both receiving treatment at Craiglockhart Hospital, Edinburgh. Both had experiences of the World War One and this inspired them to write poetry. The poetry was to be about the horrors of the war - the needless suffering, the false definition of 'glorious war' and the lack of understanding from the civilians at home. ...read more.

Middle

Wilfred Owen uses graphic, vivid imagery with many metaphors and similes that tend to be more hauntingly poetic. Wilfred Owen's bitterness and anger reflects on his poetry therefore his message to the complacent civilians who supported the war apparent. The second poem I am going to look at is Memorial Tablet by Siegfried Sassoon. This poem is in the form of a sonnet. Again, Siegfried Sassoon wrote this poem in response to the horrors of the First World War. It represents a view of an ordinary soldier speaking from the grave. The structure of the poem is split into two stanzas, a sestet and an octet. It has a simple rhyming scheme that is varied by interrupting its chanting singsong rhythm. The 'broken' effect is deliberate and is done to give the effect of the articulate soldier. The poem is written in Sassoon's colloquial style - 'bleeding years', 'went west' are just two of many examples of colloquial language. The first stanza describes the soldiers' enlistment, fighting and death. Made short almost to mirror how unimportant his life was. The first line shows how the Squire pressurised the soldier to fight for his country. ...read more.

Conclusion

Siegfried Sassoon's poetry was also filled with images, which dramatise the cruelty, horrors, and uselessness of war although he delivered his message differently to Owen. In 'Memorial Tablet' Sassoon uses long lines which aims to shock - 'Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight, (Under Lord Derby's Scheme). His language is clear and resembles natural speech which in turn helps the poem flow and convinces the reader that it is the soldier speaking - 'Two bleeding years I ...'. Sassoon does not use similes or metaphors in the poem. Instead he uses alliteration and puns - 'greater glory'/ 'I died in hell (They called it Passchendale)'. This technique, although simple is effective as it delivers a blunt, concise message that is clear to the readers. Both of the poems I have looked at are very different. Owen has an elaborate technique where as Sassoon has a more simple technique and relies very much on the message. Both poems had one thing in common. This was the opinion of war and the terrifying experiences that occurred in the war. Both poems made the reader realise that war was not a wonderful experience but an unnecessary one. ...read more.

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