Anthem for Doomed Youth and Facing It

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War is a patriotic act where one seeks the determination to lead their country. It can be viewed noble, cruel, inhumane and can make an individual a hero or a criminal. It effects everyone in a society, hoping their loved one is safe whether fighting in the trenches or waiting at home. It has led to severe individuals suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. Two poems in war literature “Anthem for Doomed Youth” by Wilfred Owen and “Facing it” by Yusef Komunyakaa, the authors’ different perspectives will be presented. Owen portrays war as a horror battlefield not to be experienced and the glorious feeling to fight for one’s country. Komunyakaa on the other hand shows an African American that serves in Vietnam War and visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. The poets’ choice of diction, setting of battlefield and various uses of poetic devices create a desired effect.

Owen presents us a sarcastic view towards the idea of being honorable to sacrifice for their country and buttresses it with abundant of horrific images. It is a war sonnet that captures the feelings of survivors to those who lost their lives in war. The use of a sonnet creates a sense of intensity in his poem, briefness and portrays the nature of death on a battlefield. Moreover, Owen uses the rhyme scheme of “ababcdcdeffegg” to show the strong division between the lines. The choice of a sonnet allows Owen to convey his message effectively and remain emotional to keep the readers interested. His tone in the poem is gloomy and proposes the reader to consider the question at the beginning of the poem: “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle” (1). Their deaths are significant to those of cattle and it occurs in masses. This leads the reader to consider t...

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... The wall represents an oxymoron that is unshakable and holds the spirits of the fallen. The imagery of: “names shimmer on a woman’s blouse but when she walks away the names stay on the wall” shows the names trying to escape from granite confines (19-21). “In the black mirror a woman’s trying to erase names: No, she is brushing a boy’s hair” (29-31). We see the urgency of the poet to escape and hope for fewer monuments on the wall. The use of devices boosts the effects of the poem.

In conclusion, both the poets show their experiences of war and its effects on them. Owen presents the poem in a war descriptive setting whereas Komunyakaa remembers the dreadful memories that have haunted him for life. These poems share the same idea of loss and helplessness. Komunyakaa poem is more about life, whereas Owen’s poem is associated towards death and fighting for honor.
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