Poetry Of The First World War Essay

Poetry Of The First World War Essay

Length: 818 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

English - Poetic Movement Speech

Good morning/afternoon 10 English 2 and Miss Cush. Today I will be comparing 2 poems from our poetic movement of poetry of the first world war and outlining how they reflect the social, cultural and historical influences. The poems I have chosen to compare are ‘Exposure’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘Counter Attack’ by Siegfried Sassoon.

Owen’s poem ‘Exposure’ is focused on what the soldiers felt on the battle field. Although there is absolutely no engagement with the enemy directly from beginning to end, they are still exposed to the elements of nature surrounding them and the psychological tension of warfare. The extreme cold is especially horrifying as conditions such as hyperthermia may occur. On the other hand, Sassoon’s poem ‘Counter Attack’ is describing a failed counter attack on the Germans. Both of these poems highlight the reality of the battlefield, expose the psychology of the respective situations and reveal the brutality of the reality of death.

The movement we are studying in class is poetry of the first world war which are poems written by people who experienced war either first hand as a soldier or from back at home. The poems I chose are from the rise of combatant composers, meaning poets who were participating in the war effort as soldiers. This revealed the real horrors of the battle field, in contrast to the previous romantic movement which made it look “sweet and fitting to die for one’s country”.

First off I will start with the social influences of the poems. The reaction against ‘cannon fodder’ concepts of war are strong in both poems. This means that soldiers were treated as mere pawns on a chess board. This is strongly seen in stanza one of ‘Counter Attack’, with the descript...


... middle of paper ...


...use of sibilance here creates an effect of coldness and cruelty. Again the freezing temperatures are seen in the closing lines of ‘Exposure’ with “All their eyes are ice” emphasising how soldiers just froze to death.

In conclusion, ‘Exposure’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘Counter Attack’ by Siegfried Sassoon both reflect the social, cultural and historical influences in many ways as stated before. Socially the reaction against the ‘cannon fodder’ concepts of war and how it was unacceptable. Culturally, the poets backgrounds forced them to question warfare and they both fought with the soldiers and not behind in safety. Finally, on the historically aspect, the enthusiasm to join reduced, due to the large casualties from exposure to freezing temperatures. And as Philip Larkin wrote in the poem MCMXIV (1914) “Never such innocence, never before or since”. Thank you for listening!

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Poetry Of The First World War Essay

- English - Poetic Movement Speech Good morning/afternoon 10 English 2 and Miss Cush. Today I will be comparing 2 poems from our poetic movement of poetry of the first world war and outlining how they reflect the social, cultural and historical influences. The poems I have chosen to compare are ‘Exposure’ by Wilfred Owen and ‘Counter Attack’ by Siegfried Sassoon. Owen’s poem ‘Exposure’ is focused on what the soldiers felt on the battle field. Although there is absolutely no engagement with the enemy directly from beginning to end, they are still exposed to the elements of nature surrounding them and the psychological tension of warfare....   [tags: Poetry, Siegfried Sassoon, World War I]

Strong Essays
818 words (2.3 pages)

First World War Poetry Essays

- First World War Poetry ".......Above all I am not concerned with poetry. My subject is war, and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity." -Wilfred Owen. The First World War, or The Great War, was fought over the period August 1914 to November 1918. Although this was fought in many locations, and on a number of continents, the Western Front was the scene of some of the most important and bloodiest battles of the War. The Western Front was a series of trenches running through Belgium and France that formed the front line between the Allied and German forces....   [tags: The Great War Poems Poetry Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
2747 words (7.8 pages)

The Attitudes to the First World War in Poetry Essay

- The Attitudes to the First World War in Poetry Compare and contrast the attitudes to the First World War in the poetry you have read. Focus in detail on four poems, two of which should be by the same author. When the war started the general feeling of the English was that the war was great and would be over before Christmas. This is evident in much of the early war poetry. As the war progressed, however, people began to feel disillusioned and eventually had an overwhelming feeling of futility in that so many lives were wasted for such little gain....   [tags: Poetry World War Poems Poets Essays]

Free Essays
2623 words (7.5 pages)

Essay The Changing Role of Poetry in the First World War

- The Changing Role of Poetry in the First World War In this essay I will discuss the changing attitudes of poets during the First World War. I will select a range of poems that will cover the early days through to the end of the war and explain how the texts were used for different purposes. I will also show how the language of the poetry went through gradual changes. Poetry written in 1914-1918 about the war had four basic phases: expectation, experience, protest and finally reflection....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The First World War Perceived to be a Futile Waste of Life in Poetry

- The First World War Perceived to be a Futile Waste of Life in Poetry "The old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori," these words were once uttered by the poet and soldier Wilfred Owen, this line needs to be remembered as the poem is based on the idea of it as 'the old lie' mocking the established belief of nationalism and duty to your country, conveyed as patriotic propaganda to the people back at home .How is it sweet and fitting to die for your country if nobody knows about your death....   [tags: Papers]

Strong Essays
1394 words (4 pages)

First World War Poets Essay

- First World War Poets The First World War poets were able to affect the emotions of their readers. Choose two or more poems that have affected you in some way, and analyse how the poets have achieved this affect. The subject of war is a delicate one to write about. However, Wilfred Owen expertly describes the horrors of conflict to his readers in a way few are able to. He conveys images and uses language in ways that can move the reader. In this essay I will look at two of his poems, written during and after the war, and aim to discuss the methods Owen uses in order to successfully influence the readers’ emotions....   [tags: World War One Poets Poetry Poems Essays]

Strong Essays
2103 words (6 pages)

World War I Impacted Poetry Essay example

- World War I impacted poetry profoundly. Poets who served in the war were using poetry to share their horrific stories about the hardships they faced. These poets became known as “war poets.” They wrote about the traumatic, life changing experiences that haunted them once the war was over. Intense poems started emerging that portrayed the mental and physical struggles soldiers faced. Two examples of the impact that World War I had on poetry is seen in the poems “Dulce et Decorum Est” by Wilfred Owen and “Repression of War Experience” by Siegfried Sassoon....   [tags: Poetry, World War I, Siegfried Sassoon]

Strong Essays
1089 words (3.1 pages)

Post 1900 War Poetry Essay

- Post 1900 War Poetry By looking at several war poems written before and after 1900, I can see that many elements of the types of poetry change greatly in several ways. I will be looking at a selection of war poems written by three different poets, in chronological order, so as to see if the attitudes to war and writing styles change over time or during various stages of the war. Firstly I will be looking at a poem written by Alfred Tennyson about the charge against the Russian gunners in 1854. The poem is called "The Charge of the Light Brigade" as it is exactly what happened....   [tags: Wilfred Owen Alfred Tennyson War Poems Essays]

Free Essays
1743 words (5 pages)

Essay on Attitude Towards War in Poetry

- Attitude Towards War in Poetry Compare three war poems demonstrating awareness of the poet’s attitude towards war. The three poems I am comparing are ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen, ‘Vergismeinnicht’ by Keith Douglas and ‘War photographer’ by Carol Ann Duffy. ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ is based on a world war one personal experience. Wilfred Owen was brought up with a religious background, which shows through, in his writing. His total war experience was short, as he died in battle in 1918 aged only 25....   [tags: War Poems Poetry Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
1974 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Wilfred Owen's War Poetry

- Wilfred Owen's War Poetry If Wilfred Owen's war poetry had one main aim, it would be to expose "the old lie": that war is always a good and justified thing and that it is a good thing to die for one's country. Owen had experienced first hand the horrors and tragedies of the First World War, so he inevitably wanted to break open the false façade and let the world know the truth. I am going to explore what I find to be three of his best poems and show how he achieved this aim. Owen was born on the 18th of March 1893 in Shropshire, England....   [tags: Wilfred Owen War Poetry Poems Literature Essays]

Strong Essays
2786 words (8 pages)