Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen and Could You Not Write Otherwise? by Alan Paton.

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Poems are one of the oldest forms of literature and it is one such form of literature that

has evolved with the passage of time but has never been abundant. Poem is one of those forms

of literature that surpasses the history of written texts (Horálek, 2019). It has been seen and

discovered that poetry was employed by the people in the earlier generation as a way of oral

history and genealogy as well as law. It is safe to say that writing poetry needs a strong

understanding of the English language. However, the question that arises is what is the purpose

of poetry? and what should a poet be writing about? This paper will try and answer these

questions with the help of two poem namely, “Dulce et Decorum” and “Could you not write

otherwise?” (Malaba, 2015).


The poem by Wilfred Owen titled “Dulce et Decorum” (1920) is a war poem and unlike

many other war poems that came during the time when Owen was writing, this poem criticizes

war and talks about the horror of war. The main purpose of writing a poem in the first place is

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to convey the innate feelings of the poet and this poem exactly does the same. Owen was a

soldier himself which means he had first-hand experience of war and battlefield. The poem

brings to light the struggle a soldier has to go through in their everyday life which is hardly

talked about by any of the poets (Benz, 2018). Most of the poets glorified being a soldier and

dying for the country in the battlefield was portrayed as being heroic in all the war poems and

even the government.

Owen was writing exactly the opposite of what is preached ...

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