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Throughout history, wars have been waged, won, and lost by people. Poets react to the war experience by pointing out the tolls exacted, as well as the rewards of victory. In this essay, a number of poems are analyzed to explore the literary tools and strategies used by the poets to express their feelings and beliefs. The artistic poetry deepens our understanding of the lines beyond the used words. In his poem “Anthem for Doomed Youth”, Wilfred Owen uses a title that sets the theme of the poem. He considers the young soldiers sent to the battlefield to be doomed. The setting is the war fronts at the time of World War I. Owen uses auditory imagery in the first stanza. One can feel Owen’s frustration, even anger, when he questions the futility of burial rituals in the first line, “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?” (line 1). He goes on with the auditory imagery with the sounds of guns and rifles raging in the battle; the sounds of choirs and prayers; and the bugles “calling for them from sad shires.” (line 8). In addition, personification is used by the poet when he likens the roar of guns to “monstrous anger” (line 2). The piercing sound of fired shells is nothing less than “demented choirs”, another personification (line 7). Owen employs anaphora to emphasize his point “Only the monstrous anger of the guns. / Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” (line 2, 3). In the last six lines, Owen resorted to visual imagery. We are touched by the image of the glimmering tears in the eyes of boys bidding farewell to the fallen soldiers. Owen succeeds to make us visualize the sorrow and sadness of these children for losing their loved ones. Towards the end of the poem, Owen symbolizes the tragic end of the dead soldiers when h... ... middle of paper ... ...ot someone who condones war or finds it acceptable. He makes his point wondering about the fate of his son, “Will I listen to his war stories / or cry into his open grave?” (line 20, 21). The subject of war provides abundant opportunities to poets to express their views in a way most relevant to human experience. In the four poems discussed above, none of the poets appear to accept the inevitability of war. Instead, we see views clearly opposed or barely hesitant about this issue that humans have experienced throughout history. The alternative to war is to reach out to others and talk, to negotiate in good faith in order to resolve disputes. Only when such communication breaks down, war kicks in. Besides enjoying the beauty of poetry as an art, these poets help us reflect and appreciate the value of human life when we think about war. I enjoy such poetry!

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