Poetry Anthem for Doomed Youth

Topics: Poetry, World War I, Sonnet Pages: 2 (1614 words) Published: May 6, 2013
This poem talks about the lack of spiritual rituals that didn’t take place during the deaths that occurred during World War I. The title refers to a song that condemns the deaths of innocent people during that war. The poem is a sonnet, so it is divided into two stanzas with eight verses the first one (two quatrains), and the second one has six verses. The first quatrain has an abab rhyme, the second quatrain rhymes cdcd, and the six final verses have an eff rhyme. We can also find some rethorical figures, which emphasise the action and the description of the setting, as in the first verse:“these who die as cattle” (l. 1), here Owen makes a comparison between the people who die at war and are like cattle, because people die because of the animal thinking that some persons have. In the second verse there is a personification of the guns: “the monstrous anger of the guns” (l. 2). In the third verse there is an alliteration: “stuttering rifles' rapid rattle”, where the repeated sound of the letter ‘t’ and then the letter ‘r’ reminds us of the real sound of the rifles. Throughout this quatrain we can also deduce that Owen is using a sound and a vocabulary that immerses us in a place where the action is occurring rapidly. Sound is present in both quatrains, while in the first we imagine the sounds of the war, in the second there is an absence of sound. During the second quatrain the author remarks the meaning of the whole poem: the loss of rituals when a soldier dies and the need for it within the soldiers’ families. There was a whole generation in which women couldn’t be married to someone. Throughout the sextet Owen, in a way, laments the unnecessary deaths that took place during that dark period of our history. He also uses some vocabulary that makes us think about death (candles, pallor…). In the final verse we find the word ‘dusk’, and we can establish a relationship of meaning between this word and death. Wilfred Owen is...
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