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World War 1 Poetry.

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Introduction

World War 1 Poetry Coursework At the beginning of the 20th century the world was at the brink of destruction, greed had overcome many of the nations as the earth plummeted in turmoil and anarchy. Each country was determined to become stronger economically, politically and militarily, in order to become the major European power. This desire was the growing opinion of many of the civilians in each nation, leading to immense levels of nationalism and imperialism. Then one day a solitary gunshot and the assassination of Arch Duke Francis Ferdinand triggered what would be one of the most bloody and horrific wars the world had ever seen. It is believed that the actual assassin was a member of the a Serbian gang known as 'The Black Hand.' This intense rivalry between Austria-Hungary and Serbia was only a small part of the big picture. It was transformed into a general European struggle when Germany declared war against Russia on August 1, 1914. In a short time over 30 separate nations had joined this tyrannous war, which spanned for 4 years, starting in 1914 and ending in 1918. Around 28 of these nations were known as the Allies or the Associated powers, it consisted of Great Britain, France, Russia, Italy and the United States of America as well as many others. The opposition to this coalition were known as the Central powers, which were made up of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey and Bulgaria. The effects of the war were dire. Millions of people were held victim to this devastating war. Many losing close friends, and even loved ones. Food was also in shortage at the time and had to be carefully rationed. For the soldiers themselves, we cannot even begin to imagine the torture they faced. When the cry of war broke out all the countries involved were in desperate need of troops, Great Britain was no exception. ...read more.

Middle

making the reader feel it is his duty to fight. Pope also uses slang such as 'sit tight,' making the poem more appealing to younger men, whilst Grenfell uses similes and metaphors. Still both writers have a very positive outlook on war. Grenfell shows this by creating a warm image, using words such as 'glowing earth.' 'Into Battle' consists of an alternating rhyme scheme; this gives the poem a constant beat. The way the poem is set out is very regular as it is made up of mainly quatrains. Grenfell also uses sound effectively in this poem. The first quatrain starts 'The naked earth is warm with spring' this line consists of eight separate sounds, or syllables. Then in the next line we also find the same number of syllables, 'And with green grass and bursting trees,' this creates a steady, set rhythm which allows the poem to flow at a constant speed, helping create the positive tone of the poem. Now that I have looked at the attitudes of a couple of patriotic poets, I will compare them with that of realistic poet. The realistic poems include; 'Disabled' and 'Dulce Et Decorum Est' which were poems both written by Wilfred Owen. As I have already explained these poems were written to show the realities of war. Owen was very critical of war, and its nature. However he still enlisted to fight on the western front in 1915, when he returned to England, from the continent where he was the tutor of an English family in Bordeaux, he visited a hospital for the wounded. Owen quickly established himself in the army and soon even had his own platoon. Though, in May 1917 Owen was sent home after it was discovered that he was suffering from shell shock. He was admitted into CraigLockhart war Hospital in Edinburgh, where by some twist of fate he met Siegfried Sassoon, a man who was greatly responsible for nurturing Owen's growing poetic talents. ...read more.

Conclusion

this shows how strongly he hates war and feels about people such as Pope, who have no idea of what war involves, but still boast of it highly. This is also considerable effective to the reader as they also realise how patriotic poets lie. The message Owen is trying to send out is, fighting for your country isn't right, it will only take you through agonising pain. 'The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. Owen and Grenfell use very contrasting techniques in their poems. Owen uses onomatopoeia effectively to create a strong atmosphere and picture in the readers mind, he uses phrases such as 'gargling' and guttering.' Grenfell uses similes and metaphors that link war and nature together, to express how he feels war is natural and everything in nature is equipped for battle. 'The blackbird sings to him, 'Brother, Brother' to emphasise the link between the two. Like 'Into battle,' Owen uses an alternating rhyme scheme in this poem (ABAB ect.), which gives the poem a continuous beat. As already stated, the poem has been very dramatically split into three parts, where the soldiers are walking and are attacked by the gas, the nightmare of the soldier reaching for help and the direct speech and attack on Pope. Now that I have looked at both types of poems and how they got their messages across, I feel, overall realistic poems are more effective. The reason I think this is because they are more memorable. How Owen, in 'Disabled' shows the contrasting life of the ex-war soldier, dramatically shows the after affect of war. Also how the reader is made to feel the soldiers panic through the gas attack and the nightmares, which the soldier has as he helplessly, watches the death of fellow soldiers is also very memorable. However, the main reason that I feel realistic poems are more effective is they directly attack patriotic poets. In 'Dulce et decorum est,' Owen attacks Pope 'My friend...' this allows the reader to see how patriotic poet's views are ignorant. Janak Bhundia Page 1 of 10 ...read more.

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