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Wilfred Owen Essay

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  • November 2012
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Owen Essay

Wilfred Owen was a soldier in the First World War. He was born in 1893 and was one of the greatest writers of war poetry. From the age of nineteen, Owen wanted to be a poet and was greatly impressed by John Keats. Owen’s poems were greatly based on the horror and fear of war after coming across a few experiences himself. He was against war and was appalled by the horror of it. He was different from a war poet in that other war poets would usually talk about the glory and the success of war by praising it, but Owen approached it differently by despising it and its negativities.

Through my research, having finished his military training, he sailed for France. He had no imagination or training prepared and so the shock of war made him suffer. Within 12 days, he wrote to his mother saying - “I can see no excuse for deceiving you about these last four days. I have suffered seventh hell. – I have not been at the front. – I have been in front of it. – I held an advanced post, that is, a "dug-out" in the middle of No Man's Land.We had a march of three miles over shelled road, then nearly three along a flooded trench. After that we came to where the trenches had been blown flat out and had to go over the top. It was of course dark, too dark, and the ground was not mud, not sloppy mud, but an octopus of sucking clay, three, four, and five feet deep, relieved only by craters full of water .” This crude and dark explanation really portrayed the disturbance in his mind. In general, Owen’s poems are extremely crude. He is raw in explaining the atrocities and acts of savagery that war incites in a person. For example, “Come gargling from the froth - corrupted lungs, obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud” (Dulce Et Decorum Est). This line in the poem shows the salacious effects of the gas used by the enemy. Owen completely removed the aspect of philosophy or even analysis and suggested his points by using the bitter truth. Even though he is so involved in the...