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Analyse two poems 'Attack' and 'Anthem for doomed youth.'

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Introduction

Analyse two poems 'Attack' and 'Anthem for doomed youth.' The two poems are both written by war poets from the First World War. Wilfred Owen fought in the Manchester regiment but was diagnosed with shell shock and was sent to Craiglockheart war hospital where he met Siegfried Sassoon who wrote Attack. Seigfried Sassoon then persuaded Wilfred Owen to write poems which is ironic as Wilfred Owen is more remembered for his poems than Sassoon. Owen then died a week before the war was over and his parents received the news the day the war ended. Wilfred Owen's poem was a sonnet where as Seigfried Sassoon' poem was not a complete sonnet. Wilfred Owen's poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' automatically makes this sound like a sad poem by choosing the words 'doomed youth'. As an 'Anthem' is usually considered a song which is sung on an occasion to celebrate this is ironic as we know that this is a poem about death. ...read more.

Middle

The guns are also shown as monsters as they have the 'monstrous anger.' Wilfred Owen then talks about the 'stuttering rifles rapid rattle.' This is alliteration and is used to make the sound of the gun sound like it is 'stuttering.' This is also onomatopoeia as the sound of the gun is being made. The poem then shows how for the dead there will be 'no mockeries for them from prayers or bells,' and 'nor any voice of mourning save the choirs- the shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells.' This is another similarity to the plague by referring to the bells again but is saying that hardly any of the war casualties are being buried properly but are buried anywhere when there is time. This again refers to the plague as body's were dumped anywhere where there was room. When it says 'the shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells,' Wilfred Owen means that there is no time for religion but if there was it would be a 'mockery.' ...read more.

Conclusion

When Wilfred Owen writes 'not in the hands of boys' he means that the choir boys are no longer singing but people are crying over their loved ones. The poem Attack is a very powerful poem using powerful adjectives all the way through such as glowering and roars. The poem starts off in the early hours of the morning 'at dawn the ridge emerges.' The ridge is the battle line at which both teams would try a surprise attack. Sassoon then talks about the 'wild purple of the glowering sun.' This means that the morning sun looks bright purple as it is still very early and seems to always be in the soldier's faces. The words 'menacing' and 'glowering' are very similar words showing that the soldiers are always under fire. Sassoon then shows how the tanks are creeping up and 'topple forward to the wire' as they don't have suspension and any big dips they will go down. The wire is the barbed wire that has been layed down to try to stop the enemy from getting any further. Lewis Mitchell 27th February, 2002 ...read more.

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