First World Conflict poetry

The First World Warfare poetry of Wilfred Owen give a comprehensive and mental bank account of the assault he himself observed during his time dished up in WWI with the Manchester Regiment from 1914 to 1918. Owen wanted to express the truth, horror and futility of battle. Even though imagery and form of his poems range substantially throughout his poems, there are two main elements of his poetry in his explanations of physical and internal torture experienced by the military in the conflict. He is quoted as talking about his work. "Above all, I am not worried about Poetry. My subject matter is Battle and the pity of Conflict. The poetry is in the pity. "

The draft of this poem "Apologia Pro Poemate Meo" which means 'Reason for my poetry' or 'Justification/Defence of my Poetry' is considered to have been completed in November 1917. Owen have been urged by Robert Graves to look at a more positive attitude to his poetry rather than the morose and glum shade portrayed in his prior poems.

"Apologia Expert Poemate Meo" which consists of nine purchased quatrains with an alternating rhyming design is one of Owens more unfussy poems. There is a uniform rhythm which helps Owen repeat his concept to the people who acquired no dealings with the battle that they ought to try to understand the sacrifices being made by the fighting soldiers at the front and the comradeships that possessed developed in the trenches. The poem starts with a religious mention of God's lifetime in the dirt. Owen says "I, too, observed God through dirt". Although the use of the pronoun 'I' gives an indication that may become more of an individual poem much like Dulce et Decorum est' or 'The Sentry' they are dissimilar, for the reason that, "Apologia Expert Poemate Meo" is not gleaned from personal experience and again it is unlike 'Anthem for a Doomed Youth' where Owen distances himself from the activities of the battle but the overriding themes of these poems are similar, for the reason that, they contain prophetic undertones.

Owens referral to God may be interpreted as, either God is throughout them or that the military have become almost God-like for their capacity to take life. The very reference to 'dirt' in the first line conjures up the image of hardship in the trenches based on the fact that there surely is a hint that the mud must have been dried up as it "cracked on cheeks" which means soldiers must not have washed for a long period and did not smile very often "when wretches smiled". Owen continues by declaring that the actual fighting with each other by the troops brings more glory than loss of life by the mere simple fact of being there. By the end of verse one Owen instructs us how "War helped bring more glory with their eye than blood". Glory is not really a word often used or found in Owens work supplying us the impression that perhaps Owen is writing a less depressing poem than his others which he is striving to present Warfare to be very jingoistic.

On the other side when Owen continues on to describe how soldiers weren't likely to feel remorse for getting rid of we can surmise that there surely is no honour or glory in conflict. Aswell as getting honour, the war got provided more indicating with their laughter which presumably did not happen very often, since when they did laugh, it was with gusto "And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child". At the end of the verse Owen reminds us of how young the troops are, his reference to "glee" makes one think with their youth. The usage of contrasting dialect such as 'laughter', 'smiles' and 'glory' are in conflict with the assonance of 'mud' and 'blood'

In the second verse a feeling of joyfulness carries on "Merry it was to have fun there-" suggesting that out 'there', there was more to giggle about than at home, perhaps because of the fact that it could be their last have fun! It is hard to believe that there is laughter in the trenches. It may have been the truth that they liked laughter more. "Where loss of life becomes absurd and life absurder" is Owens interpretation of the life of your soldier, as loss of life gains you nothing but life is more absurd, as the men have the right to commit murder! "For electricity was on us even as slashed bone fragments bare" Death is referred to as 'murder' not 'getting rid of' exhibiting how Owen seen the task of the soldier. Yet again there's a contrast in the vocabulary where, on one hand we have the 'merry' men and on the other we've 'murder', this compare is emphasised by the use of tender vocabulary throughout the poem using very soft 's' does sound eg. 'seraphic', 'soft silk sight'.

In verse three Owen state governments "I, too, have fell off Fear" insinuating that he has lost any dread he may have had. The usage of a capital 'F' in the word 'Dread' may imply that dread is a personification of any God-like status which God is worries, in particular when read alongside the first line of the poem. Owen then creates a surreal image of being able to float above the battlefield where in fact the barbed wire and the inactive soldiers lay "sailed my spirit surging" this might represent Owens capability to emerge from his surroundings to see that there surely is more to just life and death and that there surely is a anomaly, whereby, even in a hopeless place, contentment existed "And observed exultation". Remembering that Owen was a very young official and had been leading men with an increase of experience than him. There might have been some resentment to him giving them orders but now this is all behind them "Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl" they are now all together as one and "Shine and lift up up with interest of oblation". Owen continues with the religious imagery "Seraphic for one hour, though they were bad". The ethereal shade is destroyed by Owens' mention of the men to be "foul" which probably identifies their hygiene and foul terminology. The spiritual overtones then cease as Owen goes on to refer to the more human areas of the warfare and the human relationships that developed "I have made fellowships" and compares them with the adoring relationships that are usually more of the traditional and traditional style and then says that the friendships within the trenches are definitely more than this, "For love is not the binding of reasonable lips". Owen will not make reference to loss of life or wounding only that "the bandage of the arm that drips" the soldiers are united within shared encounters. Even in such harsh surroundings Owen manages to find "beauty", "music" and "peace" which, under normal circumstances would be out of place in the trenches.

Owens use of alliteration "Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate" has an image of frequent bombardment but this is tempered by the gentle sounds gives a contrast between the fighting and the thoughts experienced by the military.

It is the final verses of the poem that Owen changes the ambiance and attitude by referring directly to the reader, expressing that, they, as civilians may eventually go to hell the troops are already there. He represents the horror in the trenches that the troops experience as one of "Whose world is but a trembling of your flare". The mention of "hell" twice in quick succession in this verse only will serve to emphasise the horror of war to the reader. Having previously explained the military' experiences in very soft and gentle tones to be happy Owen state governments that this shouldn't be taken seriously "By any jest of mine", the audience sitting easily at home will not be aware of the laughter of the military "You shall not notice their mirth" nor as long as they believe that they are simply happy, as not only the inactive military should be mourned however the living as well. Owen is obviously disillusioned with the attitude among those at home by declaring in the last series "These men are worthwhile. . . . Your tears: You aren't worthwhile their merriment". This compares with "But cursed are dullards whom no cannon stuns" in Owens poem"insensibility'".

Owens use of direct speech and today's tense provides sense of sincerity and urgency, his descriptive capability to market the imagery of eyesight, sensible and smell serve to emphasise the horrors of the conflict fought in the trenches. Owens' use of 50 % rhymes provides amplification to his subject material which is both disturbing and dissonant.

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