Comparison Of Three First World War Poems

1897 words - 8 pages

Comparison of Three First World War Poems

The three poems that I will be studying in this essay are “Dulce Et
Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen, “Comrades: An Episode” by Robert Nichols
and “Who’s For The Game?” by Jessie Pope. These poems are about the
First World War and two of them seem to have a negative attitude
criticising and downgrading the so-called spectacular experience of
the First World War. In “Dulce Et Decorum Est” Wilfred Owen seems to
mention good aspects of the War but compares them to low-class tragic
events. In “Comrades: An Episode” Robert Nichols describes the event
of a soldier being badly injured and eventually dying. It describes
what the corporals and soldiers did and how they reacted to the
situation. However, Jessie Pope’s poem “Who’s For the Game?” talks
about war as if it is a joke and the scary aspect of the war is taken

In each poem a different picture emerges in one’s head. In “Dulce Et
Decorum Est” similes are used quite regularly to create dreamlike
settings and haunting images that provide a vivid picture of the
realities of warfare. To the general public soldiers were seen as
heroes but the first line of this poem ruins that image by describing
the soldiers as

“Bent double, like old beggars under sacks”.

This line creates a grim image of the soldiers portraying them to be
weak and helpless. Other similes are used to create a similar effect
in this poem. Another line, which relates to a soldier, is

“His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin”

Which shows how fed up and emotionally tired this particular soldier
must have been to be compared to the extent of a devil being sick of
sin. It is a powerful comparison as the devil lives for sin – this
creates an image of how extreme the situation would have been. In the
second poem, “Comrades: An Episode” the same picture comes to mind by
using different techniques. The poem is written in the style of a
story, which gives the writer more opportunity to include descriptions
and details. In this poem the narrator is the leader of a group of
men and he mentions names and, as he knows his men so well, he can
create and describe vivid pictures of them, such as “Not to see them:
Wilkinson, Stubby, Grim.” Other ways he describes his men is by the
speech they use regularly. “Who’s For the Game?” shows the thoughts
that Jessie Pope has towards the war; she views the war as very
straight forward and simple; join the army, fight, win, then go home.
There is some reality points in the text even though they are
understated, such as;

'It won't be a picnic - not much',


'Come back with a crutch'.

This second quote is very misleading, Pope is saying that a crutch is
the about the worst thing that could happen when...

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