Response to "Disabled" by Wilfred Owen

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In the poem “Disabled”, Wilfred Owen uses poignant regret and loneliness to show that war is not as glorified as it is portrayed. This disabled man, who was crippled in the war, sits “in a wheeled chair” all alone in a park. He heard the “voices of boys” ringing throughout the park, “voices [filled] of play and pleasure” however, to him it was “saddening like a hymn”. He sat there “shivering in his ghastly suit of grey” only able to observe for he is “legless, [and] sewn short at the elbow”. Time swirls to show, back when he was, young and, a favoured “football” player where there were no worries but the thrill of adventure and the giggles and soft glances of girls. He joined up based on the fact “someone had said he’d look [like] a god in [a] kilt” also to please “his Meg”. Filled with visions of “jewelled hilts... [and] smart salutes” along with feelings of “Esprit de corps” he left “with drums and cheers” though he did not know he would come back with less glory and grandeur. Though war he survived he did not come unscathed, with memories of “Purple spurt[ing] from his thigh” and pushed “down shelled holes till the veins ran dry”. With “half his lifetime lapsed” in the filthy, grimy, death drenched war, he is left with “never [touching or] feel[ing] again” and from others he “take[s] whatever pity they may dole”. He will now spend alone “a few sick years in [some] institutes” forever given sympathy never remembered as that young strong man he was in some forgotten hazed past. He has fully reached the ultimate in being helpless; he does not have the ability to participate with the activity but neither to move away from them and is forced to watch in misery, all for the supposed glory of war.
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