Exposure is a poem written by the one of the most famous poets of the World War 1, Wilfred Owen. The poem illustrates the conditions that the soldiers were exposed to while living in the trenches of the war zone. The poem is divided into two parts, with the first one being an introduction to the weather acting as more of the enemy to the British than the Germans were and comparing the war with the Germans less deadly than the war with the environmental conditions. In this essay, I will analyse how Owen uses imagery to evoke both past and present feelings in this poem.
The first line of part tow of Exposure is, “Pale flakes with lingering stealth come feeling for our faces”. The personification of the flakes create tactile imagery that is felt by the reader as he describes how the snow sends the soldiers to a form of trance about their homes and the past, before the war. The phrase, “So we drowse, sun-dozed, littered with blossoms trickling where the blackbird fusses,” evokes the image of the soldiers lying in a garden perhaps at their home showing that the soldiers are indeed in a trance remembering about their lives before the war. These diction used to describe their state such as “snow-dazed” and “sun-dozed” all add to the idea of them drifting back into time and are also associated with bright light that is normally linked with death. The stanza ends with Owen asking the rhetorical question, “Is it that we are dying?” showing that it is as though their lives are flashing before their lives, which is correlated with their forthcoming deaths.
The next stanza is an extension of the previous one as Owen continues to explore further on their past memories of home, which give off a warm tone to the reader. The phrase, “glimpsing the sunk fires glozed with crusted-red jewels,” has a lot of visual imagery reminding the reader of the sun, which is always related with positive feelings. The poet blends the words glow and glazed to create a new word, “glozed,”...
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