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

WW1 Poetry Five Senses

Extracts from this document...


WWI POETRY LONG ESSAY Poems evoke one or more of the five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste) to make abstract issues tangible. Discuss this statement with reference to the work of one or more of the War Poets. Poetry is a literary tool that tries to make abstract issues more substantial by evoking one or more of the five senses of humans, namely sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. This is true for the work of Wilfred Owen, a famous English poet in the First World War. Owen is renowned for his shocking and realistic poetry that portray the horrors of warfare, appealing to the reader's senses to try and deliver the horrific situations in war. His poems "Dulce Et Decorum Est" and "The Sentry" are obvious examples of such situations, both vividly describing the appalling effects war has on soldiers. These two poems are palpably Owen's personal accounts of the war as a soldier, and the things the reader can see, hear, smell, feel, and taste through these poems are no doubt from his firsthand experiences. "Dulce Et Decorum Est" is written as Owen's account of a gas attack while marching with his men. Immediately in the first verse Owen already appeals to the reader's senses, portraying the conditions of the march, "Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through the sludge". ...read more.


Owen even evokes taste, describing the taste of the poisoned blood as being "bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues." Owen clearly spares no detail in "Dulce Et Decorum Est", using such graphic portrayals to appeal to our senses of sight, sound, and even taste. Similarly in "The Sentry", Owen describes the terrible conditions of the war while also focusing on the tragedy of one man, this time the incident of a sentry who was blasted from his post and was badly injured. The first verse of this poem brings the reader to realize the abysmal conditions of the trenches in war. The weather conditions were palpably terrible, and the line, "Rain, guttering down in waterfalls of slime" exaggerates the strength and volume of the falling rain. At the same time, Owen induces sound in the reader's mind with the onomatopoeic verb, "guttering", as well as the sense of touch, reminding us of the sticky consistency of the rain by metaphorically describing it as "slime". He also tells of "slush waist-high and rising hour by hour" and steps that are "choked" "too thick with clay", recreating the scene for the reader. Even the smell of the trenches was provided, be it the "murk of air" which "stank old, and sour", "fumes from whizbangs", or the "smell of men". ...read more.


The onomatopoeia in "wild chattering" along with the other sounds coming from the sentry is induced in the reader's mind, underlining the trauma that is suffered by soldiers in the war. The poem concludes in a disturbing note, "Through the dense din, I say, we heard him shout 'I see your lights!' But ours had long gone out". The "dense din", emphasized by the use of alliteration, depicts the thick noise in the small dugout, and though it literally evokes the sound, it also seems to evoke the sense of touch, almost as if the noise is thick to the point of suffocation. The hopeful voice of the sentry is made tragic by the fact that the lights had gone out. The reader is left with only darkness, no hope is left. Owen has clearly utilized all five senses, sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, in his poems "Dulce Et Decorum Est" and "The Sentry". Be it the wide range of horrific scenes in war, the sounds bombs and suffering men, the smell of trenches, the feel of mud, or even the taste of blood, Owen has managed to deliver all these aspects of his experiences to the reader, inviting us to try and imagine experiencing the same situations. To people not having experienced it firsthand, war is more or less an abstract issue, fully understood only by those who experienced it. Owen manages to make war more tangible to us with his sense-evoking poetry, allowing us to perhaps understand its horrors better. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Wilfred Owen 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 GCSE Wilfred Owen essays

  1. Analysis Rising Five By Norman Nicholson

    The bough of the tree is like a timeline. New buds always grow on the ends and old leaves fall off. The child at the start of the poem is desperate to sound older and more important then he is. He is already anticipating the next year of his life.

  2. How is War Presented in Three WW1 Poems of Your Choice? Dulce Et Decorum ...

    Hence, the line is an example of the fact that the poem is intent only on persuading men to enlist, and scarcely considers the fact that one may not return from war. It attempts to maintain a positive view all throughout, which is a great comparison to 'Dulce Et Decorum Est.'

  1. 'Compare a selection of WW1 poetry to show how different aspects of the war ...

    'A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware, Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam' Rupert Brooke has also used the image of death in a way of making it not the ending but the start of something new.

  2. Virgil's The Aeneid - The Fall of Troy. The use of simile and imagery.

    The 'opposing winds' represents the two sides and their 'clashing' conjures up a dramatic image of impact as they meet. Wind also being a strong force of nature enforces the strength and brutality of both sides. It is possible that this simile is used to express Virgil's mythological knowledge, by

  1. Compare the ways in which the poets memorably describe soldiers going off to war ...

    This is continued when it says "Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go, into the dark." The happiness exudes from the men, rather than their surroundings - there is no crowd cheering them on or flag waving, for example. The compound adjective of "careless-gay" here emphasises the soldiers' sense of

  2. War Poetry

    When he describes the gas-shells "dropping softly behind" it is interesting that the poet uses soft vowel sounds like hoots, dropping, softly when describing the harsh impact of a bomb! The soldiers have become immune to the sounds, they are used to the sound, they could be thinking of other things or too tired to care.

  1. Comparison between Break of day in the trenches and Dulce et Decorum est

    They were "bent doubled" like "beggars" and "coughing" like "hags". Wildred had given a completed opposite of the pro war images which were that dying for one's country is a glorious thing. The image he gave was that instead of their youthful selves, they had been tired out by the war and have wrinkles like old ladies "hags".

  2. Wilfred Owen and Jesse Pope (Dulce Et Decorum Est VS Who's For the ...

    The phrase, "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest" suggests this. When the poet states, "my friend", it refers to Pope and all of the other poets that make the concept of war seem pleasant. The quotation, "with such high zest" is used in order to create

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