World War 1 poetry

Authors Avatar

Tom Crossley

“War is not an adventure it’s a disease” Is this statement true in reference to World War One poets Jessie Pope and Wilfred Owen.

The poets I am going to study each had different reasons for writing their poems of World War One. For example, Wilfred Owen experienced the war at first hand and tried to expose the sheer pain and terror to the British nation. Whereas Jessie Pope never experienced the war, she thought the only way she could help Britain was to encourage men to sign up. Despite these differences, both poets might be seen to have similar motivations; they both felt they were doing necessary action. Personally, I believe in Jessie pope’s actions, although they may seem harsh I believe its necessary in that if not done, Britain could lose the war resulting in worse consequences. This essay will explore how Jessie Pope and Wilfred Owen portrayed the war as an eventful adventure or as a diseased lie.


      At the start of the twentieth Century, Britain was the largest empire in the world holding over a quarter of the world’s population and having one of the most successful empires ever. Due to this great success British people had a great confidence and felt very proud to be British. Therefore on 4th of August 1914, when Britain declared war on Germany, the British people felt the war would be a walkover and easily won, but in reality it was a nightmare. Britain had lost 80,000 soldiers by the end of 1914; only four months after the war had started. Despite the large death toll, those at home never knew of the reality until the late stages of the war. Newspapers only revealed good aspects of the war and propaganda like Jessie Pope’s poem “Who’s for the game”, which was published in the Daily Mail. Very few of those directly involved ever got to reveal their stories and there dreadful experiences. Wilfred Owen was one of these people directly involved, and managed to tell his story and reveal the reality. Owen managed to expose the war through poetry but was unfortunately killed in the last week of the war; nevertheless he managed to expose the harsh reality of World War One.

Join now!

Jessie Pope’s “Who’s for the game” is an example of Pope’s Propaganda and what Owen was trying to counteract. Pope wants people to read this poem and sign up for the army. Immediately the title “Who’s for the game” shows the war as a game which are usually fun. Jessie has used it for the title showing even more importance and meaning. Due to this it is the first thing the reader will read. This quote is also a rhetorical question and therefore gets the reader thinking and interested as well as expressing war as a “game” and by ...

This is a preview of the whole essay