‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’, composed by Wilfred Owen is an example of well-expressed poem, that incorporates the conventions of poetic techniques, and other key concepts like form, context and genre to convey the scenes, ideas and feelings. The use of rhetorical question in this poem dehumanizes those soldiers who die in battle, ‘What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?’ An example of anaphora is, ‘Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle.’ The repetition of ‘only’ emphasizes the pressure, fear and nervousness felt by the troops in a war. Rhymes and rhyme scheme is found throughout the poem. A representation of rhyme is, ‘Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes. Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes.’ The end rhyme of the words ‘eyes’ and ‘byes’ conveys the idea of relationship, a scene of tragedy, and feelings of melancholy and depression. The poem follows a rhyme scheme, due to which it sounds so musical. The rhyme scheme of the poem is, ‘A, B, A, B, C, D, C, E, F, F, G, H, H.’ Poetic Techniques plays a major role to convey mood, scenes and ideas of the poem.
Additionally, Wilfred Owen assimilates sonnet form in ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’, to convey the devastating effects of war on soldiers, country’s economy and resources, environment, and families. Sonnet form is traditionally a poem of fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, that is often composed to communicate love and romance. Although, Owen plays around with the form, which creates an irony between the form.
Furthermore, Wilfred Owen mainly applies biographical context to show his personal experiences as a soldier in World War I. As a Christian, Wilfred Owen detested war. Nevertheless, he had to join the army when the World War I broke out. He was sent to the hospital after experiencing shell-shocks and exhaustion in the war. This is where a poet inspired him to compose a poetry on war. As a result, he composed a sonnet form poetry, in which he wrote his own view towards war, and life experiences of soldiers. Therefore, a poem like ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ contains ideas that cannot be defined by dictionary definition of its words.
‘Ode to the West Wind,’ composed by Percy Shelley, is another example of poem whose meaning cannot be defined by dictionary definition of words. Utilising effective and innovative techniques like tropes, rhetorical figures, rhymes, assonance, alliteration and meter, successfully demonstrates the key concept of death, and feelings of melancholy, pain and fear. An example of metaphor that demonstrates the themes and feelings of this poem is: ‘I fall upon the thorns of life. I bleed!’ The placement of the words, ‘thorns’, ‘life’ and ‘bleed’, creates an irony, due to which the concept of death, and feeling of pain and fear are conveyed by the example. The simile, ‘The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low, each like a corpse within its grave’, emphasises winter as the death bringer. This is because, seeds are winged during winter. Comparison between ‘seeds during winter’ with a ‘dead body in its grave’ highlights death and connotation, which displays the feeling of depression and a tragic scene. As a result, Percy Shelley integrates these effective techniques to communicate the key concept of death, and feelings of melancholy and pain.
In conclusion, the real meaning of poem cannot be defined by dictionary definition of its words. This is because, words in poems are carefully written to convey themes, ideas and feelings. ‘Ode to the West Wind’ and ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ are examples of poems that utilizes poetic devices such as meter, rhyme, tropes and rhetorical figures, and other conventions such as form, context and genre.