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September 27, 2021, 07:01:32 am

Author Topic: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?  (Read 20264 times)  Share 

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ahat

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Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« on: September 18, 2013, 06:11:23 pm »
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Would be much appreciated if you could kindly share your responses.
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EspoirTron

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Re: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2013, 10:08:47 pm »
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Hey,

I just recently completed Wilfred Owen's 'The War Poems' as my second text analysis. Is there anything in particular you need a hand with? :)
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ahat

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Re: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2013, 09:28:45 am »
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I'm doing it as my second text too :)

My first text - Ransom, was fine, writing on it was easy. I'm just unsure of how to write about and analyse poetry in an essay topic. How to structure it as such, I have done practices but they're not up to the standard I had for my other text ( but I still want to write on Wilfred for the exam). Do you have any pieces? :)
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Re: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2013, 04:28:25 pm »
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Ah, I can most certainly understand that, divulging in the wonders of Poetry can be difficult at first. I will post up a piece soon, however, it was my first piece and it lacks a deep analysis on structure. I did write (by hand) more pieces after this aforementioned piece and I will be more than happy to share them as well. I will post it up as soon as I can :)
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EspoirTron

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Re: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2013, 06:52:49 pm »
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Prompt: ‘Owen conveys both horror at the destruction caused by war, and a profound sympathy for the people who take part in it.’ Discuss.

Plan:
-Owen’s poems serve to highlight the horrors of war and unnecessary deaths that are caused by it. Furthermore, it seeks to highlight its ‘pity’ and its ability to crush the human spirit.
-Owen, in his poems, has a deep respect for the young, innocent soldiers who gave their life at war and exposes, using great detail, the disquieting circumstances that these innocent souls suffered.
-Owen’s poems are not completely focused around the destruction caused by war, Owen also condemns those who send young men to war such as the politicians at home and these are the people he despises, not sympathises with.

Essay:
In his anthology, The War Poems, Wilfred Owen, serves convey the brutality meaninglessness, destruction and unnecessary loss of life that occurred as a consequence of war; his protest of such horrors is raw and violent. Additionally, his collection accentuates a profound sympathy, compassion and respect for the innocent soldiers who sacrificed their lives in the name of war and their country. There are several poems throughout Owen’s anthology that explore the futility and poignancy of war and its ability to destruct the human spirit. In particular, Owen uses several of his poems as a tribute to the innocent young soldiers who endured disquieting circumstances to suffer the complete suffocation of their mental and physical spirit; that is, they were reduced to a disheartening morbid state. Nonetheless, not all of Owen’s poems focus on the circumstance of soldiers some of his poems condemn those who send the young to war, providing them with “the old lie” that it is honourable to die for one’s country. Ultimately, Owen conveys his admiration of the sacrifice to engage in war, and shows how even ordinary people experience extraordinary circumstances.

In Owen’s anthology, a predominant link between his poems is his exploration of the insidious nature of war and its ability to drive an individual to the nadir of the human condition. Poems such as ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ give prominence to the horrors of the war, and the opening of the poem begins with a poignant and shocking first-person description of soldiers that are under attack; reversing the noble idea of the proudly erect carriage of a valiant, healthy fighting man. As the young men struggle through the ubiquitous “sludge”, their wretched condition is comparable to “knock-kneed” old “hags”. They were tired and “marched asleep”, dehumanised and “blood-shod” they were comparable to animals. Physically and mentally these soldiers were crushed and “drunk with fatigue”. The war has not only been destructive physically on these men as they now they are nothing but “old beggars under sacks”, but emotionally their soul is crushed and their spirit is nothing but a dreary memory. Additionally, the “ecstasy of fumbling” represents, medically, a morbid state of nerves in which the mind of the soldiers is occupied with one though: death and a craving for it. Owen presents these men who have been placed at the very epicentre of war as sufferers at war’s unrelenting and malicious hands, it conveys a terrible immediacy; that is, these soldiers feel no hope or emotion and they are left as perhaps, the walking dead: spiritless and emotionless through their experiences. Furthermore, the “flound’ring” in the mud was something that these soldiers had become accustomed to, however, it takes a more gruesome meaning here, Owen introduces us to a man “yelling out and stumbling”, drowning in a “thick green light”. This evokes disturbing imagery of a young soldier suffering a horrible and excruciatingly painful death; as Owen witnesses him “plunge” before his very own “helpless sight”. Owen confronts “you”, the reader, with the agonising and meaningless nature of the soldier’s death, and leads on to the irony of the Latin quotation ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’; there was nothing sweet and proper about this death. ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, similar to ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ in its exploration of the futility of war extrapolates, immediately, Owen’s bitter attitude towards war. Owen insinuates that war is comparable to a slaughterhouse where soldiers “die as cattle” and instead of receiving a dignified and proper funeral they are welcomed with the “demented choirs of wailing shells” that emphasise the malignancy and intensity of war. As the soldiers fall they are not confronted with the beauty of the “pallor of girls’ brows” but instead are greeted by the “rifles’ rapid rattle”, and it is made evident that the soldiers who went to war were destroyed morally, mentally, emotionally and physically to a point in which they had become apathetic, numb and were unable to comprehend the monstrosities that were occurring before their very eyes. Hence, the pomes emphasise Owen’s views on how the war can destroy lives, and indeed, drive individuals into an eternal state of misery and pain.

However, there are some poems in which Owen displays a profound sympathy for those men who suffered through the Machiavellian nature of war, and as such idolizes their sacrifice for their country. ‘Has Your Soul Sipped’ is a poem focused on the beauty and innocence of soldiers. The first stanza establishes Owen’s own admiration of the young soldiers and the “sweetness of all sweets” is succinctly couched as a directive that exemplifies the innocence and “sweetness” of young soldiers that pour out of their hearts as a sea of bullets meets their flesh. Furthermore, his nuanced description in the third stanza of “rubies of morning”, “moon; or the meaning” and “mystery and mourning” evokes tranquil images of a landscape that bears not the burden of war and its ominous presence but one that is free of bloodshed, one that is “sweeter than death” and “dreams hereafter”, further evoking, aurally and visually, images of a heavenly place in which these soldiers are offered an escape from what, as described in the poem ‘Spring Offensive’, is a world where the “whole sky burned with fury against them”. Moreover, such an artfully crafted description gives prominence to Owen’s admiration of the Romantics, he was a passionate disciple of John Keats, and this composition accentuates his affinity to this poetic era. The notion is something prevalent throughout the poem, and complements Owens sympathy of these soldiers that do not deserve to endure such disquieting circumstances. Additionally, Owen states that “there was no threat” inferring that these soldiers posed no real threat and that their deaths were a waste of innocent human life. Similarly, ‘A New Heaven’ extrapolates Owen’s deep respect for soldiers and their altruistic sacrifice. The opening line of the first stanza serves to undermine the credibility of the propaganda that was directed so heavenly towards them implying that they “never found gay fairyland”, the one which they were promised for their efforts. Such dire words are emblematic of the lies by which masses of innocent souls were seduced, however, Owen ensures that past “Nirvana” that they will “live gods there”, implying that the soldiers will be greatly paid for their services and sacrifice, for as, they have given their greatest asset: their life. Never again shall death be of “sev’rance” for these men, for now it is the turn of the lying men who sent them to war to burn in the fiery ashes of hell. Therefore, Owen presents us with these poems to highlight how despite the fact that these men endured disheartening circumstances and war, they deserved the uttermost level of respect and Owen sympathizes greatly with these individuals.


Not all of Owen’s poems are focused around war and its direct repercussions, indeed, some of Owen’s poems predominately serve to condemn those that send the young to war. Poems such as ‘Futility’ – the title itself a raw and violent protest to those who had the wit to send men to war – serves to compact the deep-seeded aversion that Owen had towards politicians who sentenced men to their gruesome deaths. This poem is shocking and does not need to touch base on war itself for its effect to felt. The concept of mass death, the one man represents mass death, is something prevalent in this poem and indeed is the ‘shock’ and ‘pity’ that Owen’s collection is renowned for. The opening stanza personifies the sun; it is said to be the bringer of life and this is symbolic of God. The “kind old sun” knows the fate of these soldiers, destiny and fate exist and as one and these souls cannot escape what is to come. They must accept the “futility” of the circumstance, the corruption, the lack of hope and a world which has become metaphorically hell itself. Owen’s expression of the futility of war continues as he laments his bitter sadness of “so dear achieved” limbs, which is implying that this soldier grew up for nothing: to be slaughtered like an animal; this is the rawest form of hopelessness. This one line serves to expose the nadir or not only the human life, but our very existence. Nonetheless, this poem seems to have a more subtle meaning; the Earth gave birth to us all and it weeps as its children die in futile circumstances and it is such an unnecessary waste of the gift of life. Furthermore, as a mother rests after birth, earth rests after birthing humans; we are the “clay [that] grew tall”. As a mother would break their sleep at their child’s cry, the Earth awakens at the cry of it falling children in mass numbers and not even its metaphoric brother, the sun, can comprehend the extent of such a loss of life. Earth, our mother, has had her sleep broken, for as its children have fallen. For this very reason Owen condemns the politicians, the wives, the mothers, the people in power and the parents who factiously sent their children, the seed of the earth to war, claiming that such a sacrifice was fitting of an honourable figure and a notion that propaganda so heavily promoted. This poem drips with a scathing belittlement of the perpetuators of war; however, Owen implies that these are the very individuals that will feel the repercussions of their actions as they witness their very own mind and body subjected to the fires of hell. Analogous to such protests is that of the poem ‘Disabled’, Owen’s discussion of a soldier who once knew “girls [that] glanced lovelier” is juxtaposed against the poignant images of the man in war as “he threw away his knees”. Owen serves to expose how such once normal men could be subjected to such terrors as a direct consequence affluent individuals who were themselves suffering from some “queer disease” known as lust and greed; for as, the war was profitable for many but men like this paid with the cost of their life and could never again “feel how slim Girls’ waists are”. Thus, it is evident through these poems that Owen’s volume is not completely focused around the symptoms of war and its destruction of lives, but indeed, it serves to condemn and expose those who used this as an avenue for selfish gains.

Owen constructs his anthology, The War Poems, to not only accentuate the brutalities and disquieting nature of war but acts a tribute to the masses of innocent souls that fell during this dark era in the history of humanity. Using poems such as ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ Owen exposes the horrors and destruction that war causes, however Owen, complements this with poems such as ‘Has Your Soul Sipped’ to emphasise his respect and admiration of soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. Nevertheless, there are also poems in which Owen attacks the individuals that promote war and send tender young individuals to their gruesome deaths for their own financial benefits. Hence, it is through Owen’s collection that we can see the abhorrent nature of war and how even ordinary people can “lay down their life”.


I know it isn't anything great but I hope it helps you!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2013, 06:54:59 pm by Monsieur Kebab »
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ahat

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Re: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 04:15:13 pm »
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Hey - sorry for the late reply, am currently interstate, but thanks so much! I'm going to  have a really good read over this :)
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Re: Has anyone got any practice essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poems?
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 04:34:59 pm »
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That is no problem at all, hopefully it can help you out a little bit :)
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