Stage 1 English
Poetry arouses great emotions in people. How have four poems “aroused emotions” in you? What have you learnt about war and the emotions associated with it?
War is a part of our world and has been since the beginning of time. Through war, men have been given the opportunity to fight for freedom, for their country and for their beliefs. Young men have marched into an abyss, some never to return again. They have faced death on a daily basis and the way in which some of these soldiers have responded is through verse. The four poems entitled “Dulce et Decorum Est” and “Disabled” by Wilfred Owen, “Conscript” by FA Horn and “The Photograph” by Peter Kocan have aroused different emotions in their reader including melancholy, isolation, anguish, sympathy, trepidation and disgust. This is achieved through poetic techniques such as repetition, similes, metaphors, the theme of war and the storyline itself.
“Dulce et Decorum Est” is a poem by Wilfred Owen who was a soldier in the First World War. Through this poem, Owen expresses both the physical and psychological terror that war brings about and describes sympathy for the lives sacrificed. The poem retells the horror Owen witnessed, in particular, the gruesome death of a fellow soldier, “I[he] saw him drowning.
In all my[his] dreams, before my[his] helpless sight,
He plunges[d] at me[him], guttering, choking, drowning.”
Owen’s voice is heard throughout the poem with the intent to arouse emotion in the reader and help them realise “The old lie: Dulce et Decorum Est”, meaning, there is nothing sweet or right about dying for your country. Owen uses different poetic techniques including metaphors in the first stanza which convey warning. He describes the men “fitting the clumsy helmets” as “an ecstasy of fumbling” and that many of them had great difficulty in putting their helmets on before being gassed. The prominent themes which are evident throughout the poem are war and death and...
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