Wilfred Owen backround

Topics: World War I, Siegfried Sassoon, Poetry Pages: 2 (305 words) Published: April 24, 2014
Wilfred Owen

(18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918)
Was an English poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. Born in England, Market town on Welsh boarder

His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend and mentor Siegfried Sassoon, and stood in stark contrast both to the public perception of war at the time and to the confidently patriotic verse written by earlier war poets such as Rupert Brooke.

His best-known works are "Dulce et Decorum Est", "Insensibility", "Anthem for Doomed Youth", "Futility" and "Strange Meeting".

In 1915 he went to England to enlist in the army and was commissioned into the Manchester Regiment. After spending the remainder of the year training in England, he left for the western front early in January 1917. After experiencing heavy fighting, he was diagnosed with shellshock.

He was evacuated to England and arrived at Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh in June. There he met the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who already had a reputation as a poet and shared Owen's views. Sassoon agreed to look over Owen's poems, gave him encouragement and introduced him to literary figures such as Robert Graves. Reading Sassoon's poems and discussing his work with Sassoon

Revolutionised Owen's style and his conception of poetry. He returned to France in August 1918 and in October was awarded the Military Cross for bravery. On 4 November 1918 he was killed while attempting to lead his men across the Sambre canal at Ors. The news of his death reached his parents on 11 November, Armistice Day

Owens literary importance

Its essential to not to read owens powms simply as works reflecting the first world war although that is their principal subject matter

They continued to be read as compelling poetry as Owens subject is not only the Great War “but all war”
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