The Poetry Of The First World War English Literature Essay

The First World War poesy of Wilfred Owen supply a comprehensive and emotional history of the force he himself witnessed during his clip served in WWI with the Manchester Regiment from 1914 to 1918. Owen wanted to show the world, horror and futility of war. Although the imagination and signifier of his verse forms vary well throughout his verse form, there are two chief elements of his poesy in his descriptions of physical and psychological anguish suffered by the soldiers in the war. He is quoted as depicting his work. “ Above all, I am non concerned with Poetry.My topic is War and the commiseration of War. The poesy is in the commiseration. ”

The bill of exchange of this verse form “ Apologia Pro Poemate Meo ” which translates as ‘Reason for my poesy ‘ or ‘Justification/Defence of my Poetry ‘ is thought to hold been completed in November 1917. Owen had been encouraged by Robert Graves to follow a more optimistic attitude to his poesy instead than the morose and glum tone portrayed in his old verse forms.

“ Apologia Pro Poemate Meo ” which consists of nine ordered quatrains with an jumping rhyming form is one of Owens more unfussy verse form. There is a unvarying beat which helps Owen reiterate his message to the people who had no traffics with the war that they should seek and understand the forfeits being made by the combat soldiers at the forepart and the chumminesss that had formed in the trenches. The verse form starts with a spiritual mention to God ‘s being in the clay. Owen says “ I, excessively, saw God through clay ” . Although the usage of the pronoun ‘I ‘ gives an indicant that this may be more of a personal verse form similar to Dulce et Decorum est ‘ or ‘The Sentry ‘ they are dissimilar, in that, “ Apologia Pro Poemate Meo ” is non gleaned from personal experience and once more it is unlike ‘Anthem for a Doomed Youth ‘ where Owen distances himself from the actions of the war but the overruling subjects of these verse forms are similar, in that, they contain prophetic undertones.

Owens referral to God may be interpreted as, either God is all around them or that the soldiers have become about God-like because of their power to take life. The very reference of ‘mud ‘ in the first line conjures up the image of adversity based on the fact that there is a intimation that the clay must hold been dry as it “ cracked on cheeks ” therefore the soldiers must non hold washed for a long clip and did non smile really frequently “ when wretches smiled ” . Owen continues by stating that the existent combat by the soldiers brings more glorification than decease by the mere fact of being at that place. At the terminal of verse one Owen tells us how “ War brought more glorification to their eyes than blood ” . Glory is non a word frequently used or found in Owens work giving us the feeling that possibly Owen is composing a less cheerless verse form than his others and that he is seeking to show War as being really chauvinistic.

On the other manus when Owen goes on to explicate how soldiers were non supposed to experience compunction for killing we can surmise that there is no honor or glorification in war. Equally good as conveying honor, the war had provided more pregnant to their laughter which presumptively did non go on really frequently, because when they did laugh, it was with relish “ And gave their laughs more hilarities than shingles a kid ” . At the terminal of the poetry Owen reminds us of how immature the soldiers are, his reference of “ glee ” makes one think of their young person. The usage of contrasting linguistic communication such as ‘laughter ‘ , ‘smiles ‘ and ‘glory ‘ are in struggle with the vowel rhyme of ‘mud ‘ and ‘blood ‘

In the 2nd poetry a sense of joyousness continues “ Merry it was to laugh there- ” proposing that out ‘there ‘ , there was more to express joy about than at place, possibly because of the fact that it may be their last laugh! It is difficult to believe that there was laughter in the trenches. It may hold been the instance that they appreciated laughter more. “ Where decease becomes absurd and life absurder ” is Owens reading of the life of a soldier, as decease additions you nil but life is more absurd, as the work forces have the right to perpetrate slaying! “ For power was on us as we slashed castanetss bare ” Death is referred to as ‘murder ‘ non ‘killing ‘ demoing how Owen viewed the undertaking of the soldier. Yet once more there is a contrast in the linguistic communication where, on one manus we have the ‘merry ‘ work forces and on the other we have ‘murder ‘ , this contrast is emphasised by the usage of stamp linguistic communication throughout the verse form utilizing soft ‘s ‘ sounds eg. ‘seraphic ‘ , ‘soft silk eyes ‘ .

In verse three Owen states “ I, excessively, have dropped off Fear ” insinuating that he has lost any fright he may hold had. The usage of a capital ‘F ‘ in the word ‘Fear ‘ may connote that fright is a personification of a God-like position and that God is the fright, particularly when read alongside the first line of the verse form. Owen so creates a phantasmagoric image of being able to drift above the battleground where the barbed wire and the dead soldiers lie “ sailed my spirit billowing ”

Owen once more adopts a rough tone to those at place – ‘ You shall non come to believe them good content/ By any joke of mine. . . They are deserving your cryings / You are non deserving their gaiety ‘ . Much choler is directed towards those ignorant of the full deductions of war, but, possibly ironically, his poesy would function to do them cognizant. The idea of killing, watching your companions be killed and invariably seeking to last sounds hideous plenty, but the precise item of the emotions, ideas and sights of the soldier, win to drive the full horror place. This is where much of Owen ‘s originality lies, non obscure coverage, but deep cynicism and conveyance of the state of affairss. Compare with ‘ But cursed are stupids whom no cannon stuns ” in “ insensibility ‘ ”

The peculiar techniques adopted by Owen in his poesy underscore his messages. His usage of address and present tense give his verse form urgency and straightness. All the senses are utilised by Owen, a changeless input of sound, odor, touch every bit good as sight addition the dimensions of his images and overwhelm us as he must hold been. Owen ‘s contraption of half-rhyme gives his poesy a dissonant, upseting quality that amplifies his subjects. His stanzas jar, as war does.

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