Death: Flowers and Bomb Shells

1678 Words7 Pages
Death is something that every person will have to deal with at some point in his or her life. The poems "Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Nothing Gold Can Stay" both deal with the concept of death, but in very different ways. They provide views of what death can be like from opposite ends of the proverbial spectrum. Death can be a very hard thing to experience, and the emotions that it evokes can be difficult to express as well. These two poems both express a feeling of loss through death, but the tones perceived by the reader in each are completely unalike. The setting of "Dulce et Decorum Est" is a battlefield during wartime, and tells of the main characters, the soldiers, fighting for their lives. The author, Wilfred Owen, was a soldier himself, who died in the war, which is one reason that this poem has such a personal tone about it. It relates directly to human experience. The reader cannot help but wonder if Owen experienced the horrors that he recounts in this poem. Owen also uses many personal pronouns, like "you" and "I" repeatedly as if to remind the reader war is a real thing and that they could easily be in the same situation. Line twenty-one reads, "If you could hear, at every jolt" followed by line twenty-five, "My friend, you would not tell with such high zest". The use of the word "you" and even "my friend" makes both of these lines very personal, as if Owen is speaking directly to the reader. "Nothing Gold Can Stay" also has a personal sense to it, but the author of this poem, Robert Frost, does not try to make the same connection with his readers. Allegory is put to use in this poem with the case of nature. Instead of using personal pronouns to draw the reader into the story as Owen does, Frost uses them to personify nature, always referring to it as "her". The opening lines of the poem say, "Nature's first green is gold / Her hardest hue to hold". This is a common occurrence in writing, especially when dealing with nature. By personifying nature as a woman, rather than just an object, the reader is able to connect more with that character. This is because it is easier for humans to relate to another person than it is for them to relate to an object, even if only on paper.
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