Wwi Era Poetry

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Response paper #5
World War 1 Poets

“The time you won your town the race|  |
We chaired you through the market-place;|  |
Man and boy stood cheering by,|  |
And home we brought you shoulder-high.”From the first stanza in “To an Athlete Dying Young” there is a dark over shadowing and reference to death. The stark, sad comparison of a race winner being hoisted and cheered and a dead soldier being carried shoulder high in a casket is striking. The era of World War 1 was a dark and gloomy one. There was fighting and turmoil all over the world. People didn’t know where the fighting would spread to next. Would their homes be destroyed? Would their loved ones make it back? The outcome for most on the front lines was not very good. Between horrible trench conditions, weather, battles that dragged on for months and injuries so devastatingly traumatic, the odds of the enlisted coming home were bleak. Poetry seemed to reflect all this negative, sad overcast of the world. In “The Soldier”, Brooke writes about an Englishman dying abroad, thus making that part of the earth, forever England. “If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England.” This is bleak yet somehow comforting at the same time. That bit of comfort seems to directly reflect that this poem was personal to Brooke as he was a soldier and ended up dying on a ship of dysentery. The sadness is compounded that he couldn’t have even died as he wrote, in a somewhat dramatic and romantic fashion, leaving part of England in the soil. The injuries from World War 1 were often completely disabling or fatal, due to conditions, artillery blowing people apart and the obvious lack of advanced medical care. Amputees were just that. They were wheelchair bound, lucky to have survived at all considering blood loss in the middle of a mud trench. Owen writes, “Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years. Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears

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