World War 1 poems by Wilfred Owen - a comparison

Essay by mwilsoJunior High, 9th gradeA, October 2004

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World War 1 poems by Wilfred Owen

The pity of war, the pity war distilled.

Wilfred Owen, 1918

Wilfred 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...