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

Wilfred Owen's War Poetry "My object is war and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity."

Extracts from this document...


Wilfred Owen's War Poetry "My object is war and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity." -Wilfred Owen An author's context always has a substantial influence on the text's they write. We will also find this holds true for poetry, if not more so. Poetry is often considered a collection of emotions generated from its writer and we can see this by not only analysing a poem, but by taking into consideration the poet's life as well. One such example is Wilfred Owen. Owen's poetry has been greatly influenced by his context, and not only by his involvement in World War 1 but the friendships he made in that time. Through knowing Owen's context we can interpret how the social, political and historical climate of the world influenced his poetry. Wilfred Owen was born in March, 1893. The course of his life changed many times before he went to war. After finishing school he became a parish assistant before abandoning religion and finally becoming a professor of English. It has never been clearly stated why he abandoned Christianity but we will look into how it has effected his poetry later. ...read more.


Further into the poem Owen has used the onomatopoeia "whiz-bang" to describe the sounds of rockets. Following a final attack, another onomatopoeic line depicts a man falling down stairs. "Thud! Flump! Thud! Down the stairs..." The man to fall down the stairs is referred to as the sentry, and n regaining consciousness he cries "O sir - my eyes - I'm blind." This is said to have actually happened and gives us a good example of just how real Owen's poetry is. Apart from resembling events in his life, Owen's poetry strongly reflects his views and attitudes towards war and other issues. Perhaps the most profound trend across his work is the criticism he gives to the glory of war. Let's consider "Dulce et Decorum est". The very title is Latin for "noble and heroic to die for ones country", but the poem itself has a very anti-war approach in which Owen tries to depict the true image of war. The first stanza describes the state of the soldier's and what they have to endure. The line "men marched asleep" is describing how they no longer care, how what was once considered extra ordinary is now boring them to sleep. ...read more.


"War's a joke for me and you, While we know such dreams are true. Siegfried Sassoon." This puts a new meaning to the poem. It now reads as Sassoon and Owen facing death together, and is symbolic of the strength of their friendship. If the war was half of Owen's influence to write poetry, then Sassoon was the other half. Sassoon, already a poet himself, met Owen while he was in hospital. Sassoon read through Owen's work and helped him develop new techniques, of which we see in his own work regularly. After Owen was killed on the 4th November 1918, Sassoon made it his personal endeavour to publish all of Owen's work. If it had not been for Sassoon we would never have known about Wilfred Owen and his poetry. Sassoon once said, "All that was strongest in Wilfred Owen survives in his poems", and this we take for truth. Not only does memory of Wilfred Owen live on through these poems, but the fatal mistakes made by humanity in going to war. In illustrating what war was really like, and exposing the false glory, Owen has left future generations a warning not to let history repeat itself. May his words live on forever, "The old lie: Dulce et decorum est." Wilfred Owen's War Poetry Kyle Hoath 1 August 2003 ...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 War Poetry 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 War Poetry essays

  1. WAR POETRY: Themes in War Poetry

    "Who are these? Why sit they here in twilight? Wherefore rock they, purgatorial shadows," this means that the soldiers are sitting in the dark, waiting for battle. "Drooping tongues from jaws that slob their relish, Baring teeth that leer like skulls' teeth wicked?"

  2. Wilfred Owen aimed to convey 'the pity of war' in his poetry. How does ...

    This description is dehumanizing and degrading to the soldiers as they become vulnerable to attack, adding danger to the already hectic scene. Using other phrases like, "knock-kneed, coughing like hags" to depict the soldiers, he contrasts reality with the idealistic perception in which the war has always been presented; soldiers pictured cheerfully marching proudly and embracing death with patriotic hearts.

  1. A Comparison between ‘The Kiss’, ‘Glory of Women’ by Siegfried Sassoon and ‘Dulce et ...

    You make us shells, you listen with delight...' This is in the fifth line of the poem; it is talking about bombs exploding. Siegfried Sassoon is talking about how women listen to the bombs that are being exploded and the way the brag about their men fighting in the war and listening to how their men are fighting.

  2. World War 1 Poetry.

    This led to many young men being induced, as they had no real idea of what was actually happening. The only way the true horrors of the war could escape censorship was through the letters that soldiers would write to their friends and relatives, however, the government ensured none of

  1. How did the war poetry of the 1st world war change as the war ...

    wrote unlike Jessie Pope who had never been to war and was never actually going to go anyway. Whether Pope truly believed that war is, and was a game I don't know but I for sure know and think that it isn't.

  2. How and Why did war poetry change during the years 1914 - 1918

    the man of the reader because they wont fight, they are not real men. The second part of 'Peace' the sestet conveys that even if the writer meets death, instead of death being an enemy the soldier will find him as a friend, for death will bring him to gods

  1. Trace the history of "The Old Lie" with particular reference to the poetry of ...

    Tennyson wrote the poem to honour the dead soldiers and to get the public to realise that they were dying in aid of their country. The poem mainly glorifies the features in the battle in chronological order. Including how Lord Cardigan made the order to fight and how the soldiers

  2. Choose two poems which portray the theme of the pity of war. Are the ...

    The three words "guttering", "choking", and "drowning" give such a strong image and is very shocking the way they are said one after the other. "Guttering" is almost onomatopoeic; allowing you to visualize and hear the torture the soldier is going through.

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