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WW1 Poetry Coursework

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Introduction

WW1 Poetry Coursework War poetry conveys a number of different messages, being anti-war, the ideas of chivalry and glamour involved in the fight, and poems trying to recruit young men into the war are all common, especially in WW1. There are many poets from this time who use these ideas a lot in their poetry, I will be looking at five of them in detail, Jessie Pope, Rupert Brooke, Arthur Graeme-West, Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. Who's For the Game? By Jessie Pope is a recruitment poem, aimed at young men, glamorising war to a degree that it classifies it as a big game. There is a recurring theme in the poem of spectators and participants, whilst also using rhetorical questions, 'Who wants a turn to himself in the show?/And who wants a seat in the stand?' would be a very good way to get young men, already surrounded by the propaganda in the newspapers, radio stations, and posters, to sign up into the army. ...read more.

Middle

There is also a great feeling that a soldier's life has been building up to death and death would be the climax of his life and that dieing for your country would make you pure, 'To turn, as swimmers into cleanliness leaping,' Also the idea that life is a struggle, and when you fight for a just cause and eventually pass on you are only then free and are at 'Peace' , 'But only agony, and that has ending;' God! How I hate you by Arthur Graeme West was written in direct response to a heroic sonnet by Hugh Freston which obviously angered West by glamorising the aspect of war, there is also a direct quote from Freston's poem quite obviously used sarcastically, 'Oh happy to have lived these epic days'. West uses quite a colloquial tone when writing this poem which makes it more accessible to readers from all backgrounds or level of vocabulary. The poet also uses a succession of ghastly adjectives when describing the conditions in the trenches as 'muddy brown monotony'. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is also use of reference to well-known sights like 'bells' and 'prayers' to show explicitly that this is not happening that far from home. In the last stanza Owen uses quite pleasant vocabulary to describe the death, 'Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds', yet again a contrast between the sweet and the sour experiences of life and death in the trenches. The different forms of poems are all very different in meaning, purpose and context. They are all effective in many different ways many emotive as there was great feeling of high emotions running for or against the war. The so-called 'propaganda poems' were much more common at the start of the war, however as the war progressed and it was evident that England was in it for 'the long haul' the anti-war or realistic poems became much more common as soldiers in the trenches who were actually experiencing these things began to write poetry as a form of clearing there mind or expressing the events that disturb or are quite memorable, normally bad. ...read more.

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