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war poems

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Discuss the different aspects of conflict remembered in a selection of four war poems. Many poems have been witnessed throughout history that show different views on war and the glory and sacrifices made. Everyone was affected, from the men in the front lines to women and children working back at home. Men involved in the war effort often wrote poems to record their thoughts and feelings, or simply to pass the time. Poetry was an outlet through which they could express great depth of meaning by condensing it into a few words. In this assignment I am going to write about the war poems entitled 'The Charge of the Light Brigade', a poem written in 1854 by Lord Alfred Tennyson, 'Dulce et Decorum est', a poem written in the twentieth century by Wilfred Owen, 'The Soldier' by Rupert Brooke and finally 'Base Details' by Siegfried Sassoon. Poems were often written on patriotism, the enemy, the victims, peace, heroism and survival. Although the war was horrific it brought society from a naive, innocent state to a state of experience and awareness. " What a pity it is that one can die but once to serve our country. ...read more.


" Lord Tennyson uses techniques such as repetition, emotive language, direct speech, alliteration, rhythm, rhyme and use of the rhetorical question to capture the reader's imagination. The reader is swept along in admiration of the men, building to the booming climax of the crescendo in the final stanza. " When can their glory fade ? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder'd. Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred! " Tennyson finally ends the poem on a positive point, "Honour the charge they made! Honour the Light Brigade, Noble six hundred!" This pre 1900 style of writing, with no concession to defeat, may have inspired the early war poets to write poems from a standpoint of innocence. As war progressed so did the views of those who originally believed war was righteous. People could not ignore the pain and suffering, they began to feel great pity. Wilfred Owen, possibly the greatest war poet, often wrote of the tragedy. " Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity." Wilfred Owen wrote many poems but one which very effectively captures the sad and horrific truth is " Dulce et Decorum est ". ...read more.


" Sassoon paints a devastating picture of the incompetence and selfishness of the General Staff. The language used is colloquial with a neat rhyme scheme. This poem emphasis' on their uncaring attitude and their attitude. It is now generally accepted that the large number of casualties could have been avoided, had it been considered important to save lives. The title 'Base Details' is a pun on 'base' which can also mean dishonourable. The poem begins in a splendid style with a slanderous caricature of majors at the base. It begins with a burst of energy and finishes with a downbeat, casually vicious throwaway line. Sassoon's use of 'guzzling and gulping' is both alliteration and onomatopoeia, it conveys a vivid impression of both grossness and greed. The last line or two adds a punch to the satire. The poet's vocabulary about the majors is at the heart of his anger and his satire. The War had a tremendously influencial effect on society. It took millions on a journey of realisation. People began to understand that war is very seldom beneficial; more often it is horrific. If more had taken heed of this beforehand then perhaps less would have been slaughtered. This journey of innocence to experience was a valuable one, but it was one which we all regret it was necessary to take. ...read more.

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