The First World War effected people in many different ways. The war for some was horrific and terrible, soldiers saw their friends in pain and their friends die. For some the war was seen as a patriotic nationalist: young men fighting for their country, some may die but at least they died for their country. These two views of the war were very different and they depend on what you experienced during the war. By reading war poems we can see in to the heart of these soldiers and how they saw the war. The first sonnet is a Patriotic poem called “The Dead” it is written by Rupert Brooke in 1914.
The first verse talks about life when you are alive and how you take it for granted. The first verse fools you into thinking that this is a peaceful sonnet “These hearts were woven of human joys and cares, washed marvellously with sorrow, swift to mirth. ” This short sentenced verse then ends powerfully with “All this is ended” meaning that life has ended for all these soldiers. That all this peace is cut short, it all ends in a sentence and I think that shows how all these soldiers’ lives could be cut short in a second.
It then carries on into the second verse in which Rupert Brooke says that all these deaths have left something peaceful in the world. “Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance, A width, a shining peace, under the night. ” The second poem shows the horrific nature of war it is called “Dulce Et Decorum Est” it is written by Willfred Owen (1893-1918) The Latin title means “Sweet and fitting it is to die for one’s country. ” The poem is very powerful and deep and shows Wilfred Owens’s resentment to those who told him and the other young men, the glory of war.
It is every man’s dream to become a hero and taste the glory of it all, but Wilfred Owen believed that they used that dream as a way of recruiting men to go into war. If men knew the dreadful pain and torment that came with war then no man would wish to fight for their country. “You would not tell with such high zest too children ardent for some desperate glory the old lie: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. ” After reading the poem you start to think, was the war worth it. Was it so important that these men had to go through this horrific experience?
The fact that despite the limbs they lost, despite the senses that had gone, they carried on. There is a hint of patriotism in this poem but when you read the things they go through, the patriotism does Mohammed Taguri The next poem is a mixture of both patriotism and death it is called “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae a Canadian Doctor. John McCrae being a doctor would have seen all the terrible injuries that occurred, he would have heard the soldiers cry out loud for help. In Flanders Fields is a heartfelt poem.
In the first verse It talks about a field in which rows and rows of men lay in their graves and among the horror of these mass graves are beautiful red poppies. I think this first verse sets the mood of the rest of the poem, the poem carries on and John McCrae uses a verse from Rupert Brooke called the “the Dead”. The last verse changes from focusing on dead soldiers in their graves to the soldiers who are alive. He says that the soldiers alive should carry on fighting not only for themselves not only for the women and children at home but also for the thousands of soldiers who lay in their grave.
The torch; be yours to hold it high” The torch is symbolising the war and the torch is being passed from the dead soldiers to the soldiers who are alive. John McCrae is saying that we should not give up because there are thousands of dead soldiers, he is saying we should carry on so that those thousands of soldiers died for a reason. “if ye break faith with us who die, we shall not sleep. ” The living soldiers must not break their faith in the meaning of this war when other soldiers die, because if they do, the dead soldiers will be restless.
The last poem although does not talk about terrible injuries is perhaps the most horrific and distressing it is called “Suicide in the Trenches” by Siegfried Sassoon. It talks about a young simple boy who lived a peaceful life in which he did not have to worry. “Who grinned at life in empty joy and slept soundly through the lonesome dark. ” The next verse then talks about this simple boy placed in the winter trenches. The trenches were melancholy and depressing and this boy who had led a simple happy life had his world drastically changed when placed in these trenches.
The boy not being able to manage with this melancholic life picks up a gun and puts a bullet though his own brain. This sad verse ends with a powerful line. “No One spoke of him again”. The poem carries on with Seigfried Sassoon becoming very resentful to not the Germans. Not to the generals who placed this boy there. But too the people at home “You smug-faced crowds with kindling eye… Sneak home and pray, you’ll never know. ” Sassoon is targeting his anger on the “smug-faced crowd” who don’t understand life in the trenches.
Like the verse before this ends with a very powerful line “The hell where youth and laughter go”. Siegfield Sassoon is tormented with his pain but what makes the pain worse is the fact that those people at home do not understand him and his pain. They do not know “The hell where youth and laughter go. ” Mohammed Taguri I have studied four different poets: Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, John McCrae and Siegfield Sassoon. These four-war time poets wrote about different aspects of the war and on their experiences of war. I think Rupert Brooke is a peace-lover but he has not experienced much in the war.
I believe that Wilfred Owen was a pacifist who wanted to go home after experiencing a lot of terrible things. I think John McCrae was very patriotic despite all the tragic things that happened around him. Siegfield Sassoon was a rightfully bitter Man who because of his wartime experiences resented those who put him in the war and for the people at home because they did not know the things he and other soldiers went through. These Men wrote these poems so that people who did not go to war could have an insight on the way life was.