.......Wilfred Owen was born in Shropshire, England, in 1893 and studied at the University of Reading. Because he could not afford to continue his education, he left school and worked as an English-language tutor in France while also writing poetry. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the loss of so many young lives horrified him. Nevertheless, after returning home in 1915, he enlisted in the Artist's Rifles of the British army, received a commission, and shipped out to France in late December 1916. Over the next several months, he wrote poetry to record his impressions of the war. In the spring of 1917, he exhibited symptoms of shell shock after experiencing the hell of trench warfare. He also contracted trench fever, a bacterial infection transmitted by lice. His superiors returned him to Britain, where he underwent treatment at a war hospital in Craiglockhart, Scotland, then a suburb of Edinburgh and now part of the city. While there, he continued to write poems, one of which was “Anthem for Doomed Youth.” An experienced poet who was also receiving treatment, Siegrfied Sassoon (1886-1967), helped him edit and polish his work. After his discharge from the hospital, Owen mingled with poets and wrote more poetry. His work by this time was showing great promise. Eventually, he returned to the army—and to war. He died in battle just one week before the war ended (November 11, 1918). He was only twenty-five. However, his war poems, including “Anthem,” lived on and today remain as meaningful and relevant as when he wrote them.
Type of Work: Sonnet
.......“Anthem for Doomed Youth” is a lyric poem in the format of a sonnet. Wilfred Owen wrote it in 1917 while under treatment for psychological trauma and trench fever (as explained in the paragraph above) at a war hospital in Craiglockhart, Scotland, then a suburb of Edinburgh and now part of the city.
The Sonnet Format: Petrarchan and Shakespearean... [continues]
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