World War 1 Poems By Wilfred Owen A Comparison

1284 words - 5 pages

World War 1 poems by Wilfred OwenThe pity of war, the pity war distilled.Wilfred Owen, 1918Wilfred Owen wrote a draft for a war poem shortly after war broke out entitled 'the Ballad of Peace and War'. It is ironic because it greatly contrasts with his later work. It can explain the naivety of him about war before joining up. The aim and effect of the poem is very patriotic and shows he is very proud and loves his country. "...their bodies of men vouchsafe to save the soul of England." Then he did not really consider the experience he would endure like the winter and the trenches. Nowadays, his most famous poems are those that picture the brutality of war. These include Exposure and Anthem for Doomed Youth.The poem Exposure is what came out of Wilfred Owen's experience from serving in the Somme Sector in the bitter winter of 1916-1917. From the way the poem is structured and from the words and methods, used you can tell Wilfred Owen needed them to set the scene of the cold winds and the depressed soldiers. The theme of the poem is very sad. It explains the harsh weather conditions, "merciless iced east winds that knive us...". It has a very slow tone in content and in structure, "Slowly our ghosts drag home". Sometimes mostly at the beginning the sentence ends with a ... giving more theme as the words trail off. The mood of the poem can be either a sad poem or an angry one. I would say it was definitely more of a protest than patriotism, "...all closed: on us the doors are closed,". The rhyming in the poem is total; (knive us/nervous, silent/salient) so as not to spoil the effect and to not use different words. It puts more expression on words with less rhyming. Owen invented the half-rhymes or para-rhymes himself. I think they give a tight shape to the verse while avoiding the bounciness of ordinary rhymes. The rhythm is steady, slow paced and monotonous. The repetition inside the rhythm is used to show boredom of the soldiers of the war as 'nothing happens'. These words are seen four times in the poem at the end of the verses. This goes against our usual idea of warfare. To the soldiers in the poem it is as if they are waiting for something and death is as everyday as talking and that the punishing cold is expected. The whole structure of Exposure is like an account from Wilfred Owen. It is a bit like a story divided into sections. The end sentence of each verse sums up the thoughts of the soldiers after the incidents told before. Because 'nothing' is happening I think that the soldiers currently find that the weather is more dangerous to them than the 'flights of bullets...less deathly than the air that shudders black with snow". There are more descriptions about the cold than the war, "Pale flakes with fingering stealth come feeling to our faces,". It shows that it is the cold that is making them more depressed than the fighting. There are some words and comparisons that connect weather and war. To the soldiers it is as if the weather is also...

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