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Wilfred Owen Poetry Essay

  • Submitted by: 09woodis
  • on April 16, 2015
  • Category: English
  • Length: 786 words

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W.B. Yeats dismissed Owen’s poetry as “all blood, dirt and sucked sugar stick”. How far do you agree that Owen’s poetry is too preoccupied with unpleasant details and exaggerated emotions?   In your answer you should either refer to two or three poems in detail or range more widely through the whole collection.

    Throughout the collection of war poems by Wilfred Owen, all the poems share the same subject; “the pity of war”.   Therefore unpleasant details and exaggerated emotions play a big part from a war poet who was serving for his country in World War One. W.B. Yeats dismissed Owen’s poetry as ‘all blood’ and ‘dirt’ you could argue that Owen is a little obsessed with it but with no hope and constant death surrounding him on the Western Front who can blame him for feeling this way? The war poem collection could also be considered to face other aspects of war not necessarily the graphic events, but the hatred of civilians, justified details and distractions from war such as coping mechanisms.   On the other hand many of Owen’s poems describe situations where emotions and unpleasant details could be seen as exaggerated, even though most of these could be seen as reconstructing the truth.
    ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ is a poem from the collection written in 1918.   The poem’s title is written in Latin and literally to English as “It is sweet and right to die for your Country”.   At first glance it seems ironically patriotic, but when one starts to understand Wilfred Owen’s message to the reader, we can see his anger and protest against the military propaganda enlistment.   This is where we can begin to see his bravery because during this time many civilians didn’t know what the war was doing to the men.   However Owen does take on a more graphic tone later on in the poem, it therefore can be argued that his details are too preoccupied by the suffocating soldier in a gas enemy attack.   For example in stanza 2 onomatopoeias and evocative verbs such as ‘guttering’...

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