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...
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...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!
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- 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]
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