Refugee Blues and Disabled Comparison (Almost Finished)

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Refugee Blues and Disabled Comparison (Almost Finished)

By | Feb. 2013
Page 1 of 6
"Disabled" / "Refugee Blues":
A Poem Comparison Essay

The subject of war and the loss of human life has had a deep influence on poetry of the first half of the 20th century. Many poets from around the world had felt the direct impact of earth-shattering wars and went on to express their opinions through their works. It was during wartime eras that the poems "Disabled" and "Refugee Blues" were written by Wilfred Owen and W.H. Auden respectively. Both of the given war poems are considered to be some of the most significant pieces of poetry of their time and the fact that they were written during times of worldwide conflict explains their brutal honesty, grim atmospheres and the poets' desire to convey both shock and sadness through their interpreted image of war. "Disabled" was written by Wilfred Owen when he was in England to recover from war trauma. The title gives a glimpse of what the poem is about - a lonely soldier forced to be amputated. Although it is only a single piece of his string of anti-war poems, "Disabled" is arguably one of his most effective and significant works. The context of the poem takes place in Britain during its involvement in the Great War and tells a story of a disabled (hence the title) soldier who resides in a hospital. To shock the readers, Owen reveals that the soldier is actually a young adolescent, aged 17-19, who returning from the Western Front, was forced to have his limbs amputated. In contrast, "Refugee Blues" is a poetical work of W.H. Auden in 1939 - the year World War Two broke out. The name of the title is a reference to an old musical genre - blues. They were originally sang by early African slaves on American soil. The songs of the particular genre were mostly about sadness and depression. This, combined with the term 'refugee', create an interesting title, that is useful to identify what type of person is the protagonist and why the structure of the poem is reminiscent of a (blues) song. Although...