Personal Response to Wilfred Owen

Topics: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, Poetry, Dulce et Decorum Est Pages: 4 (1582 words) Published: December 4, 2010
Personal Response to Wilfred Owen

One of Wilfred Owen’s poem is Dulce et Decorum est. The title of this poem is roughly translated to: It is honorable and beautiful to die for your country, the poem itself basically speaks of how this is a lie. It takes you through a small story at the end of which it explains in gruel poetry the death of a soldier with effective language that helps inspire fear “And watch the white eyes writhing in his face, His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;” I believe the poem starts by explaining that the man on whom the poem focuses is within an infantry marching through the poor conditions. “We cursed through sludge”, “Men marched asleep.”, “Drunk with fatigue” These quotes all relate to one another and are giving an impression of their movement being a quest in itself, that they are tried to a state as though they were drunk and stumbling along just barely able to keep control of their limbs from collapsing. The poem then goes into a state of panic, something seems to happen quite rapidly. The use of “Gas! Gas! Quick, boys!” helps show this panic, it is sudden and unexpected which is an effective use on the reader making them feel surprised and interested in one what will happen next. An idea of the scenery and surroundings is extra given by “Dim, through the misty panes and think green light” this is a use of visual imagery to aid the reader in an understanding better of what is happening. The 3rd stanza begins to explain about this man’s nightmares. He keeps on seeing a certain man, dying within the gas. The man is haunting him in his nightmares. “In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.” These two lines are on their own in the poem structure. This is because they symbolize thought, the poet’s personal feelings, it is unique to the poet in the way of how he reacts and how the experience affected him. This experience leaves the soldier to feel guilty because the man in his...

References: from the poem, things like the guns, are replacing parts of an ordinary funeral service. The guns for example, replacing the bells that would sound at a normal funeral service, the prayers that would ordinarily be heard are replaced by rifles and the choir by wailing shells. The poem is quite bitter and sad through the first part, the sadness can be seen here “and bugles calling for them from sad shires” this is the last sad sound heard. It refers to the soldiers and the
countries that each of them come from, to their regiment. As the poem continues it gives a lasting impression that war is, in fact, not heroic nor brave but rather a cruelty and of a sadistic nature. I think that “What candles may be held to speed them all?” is asking in a way, Who or what will give prayer to their spirits after they have died so that they may find rest within heaven?. The poem overall makes war out to be a sin and a burden for all that have to endure it, it gives an impression of there being no heroes in war and no victory neither and focuses mainly on how they will find peace in their death on the battle ground.

The Anthem however is more related to the aftermath of war, more abstract to a point of trailing on thoughts rather than reality, using evocative language. There is a lot of poetical devices used to enhance these poems. Repetition, “Gas, gas!” similes, half-rhymes, ‘fumbling’ and ‘stumbling.’ assonance and alliteration. The way in which the language, imagery and contrasting is brought together with more simple phrases and language. The effect of using colloquialisms. “quick boys! - an ecstasy of fumbling” A contrast between the reality of war and peoples real experiences
In these two poems, Wilfred Owen describes his dislike for war because of the horrible things he had seen, the friends that he had lost, and the suffering he had went through. These are two of Wilfred Owen 's most famous poems because he talks about the tragedy that brings in war and he describes it, making these poems anti-war. The war that Wilfred Owen was in, affected his poetry because he met Sassoon who helped and edited his poems and also the war was a big thing because his poems would be nothing without the war and the imagery he puts into the poems. The imagery he puts into the poems because he experienced it first hand, it draws the readers in, to show the gruesomeness of war. The poems that Wilfred Owen wrote were affect by war and his friend Sassoon.
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