During the First World War many poets tried to reflect their attitudes to the war through their poems.
A poem is one of the most powerful ways to convey an idea or an opinion. Wilfred Owen’s poem for example describes the evil, the blindness, the sufferings and the disgust of the war. Winnifred Letts too tries to eliminate the fact of glory and glamour connected to the war. Through personal experiences and facts both of these anti-war poets try to show how devastating and hideous the war really is. Unlike Wilfred Owen Rupert Brooke is deeply patriotic about the war , he reflects the blind optimism that the anti-war poets talk about.His poem, The Soldier in many ways sums up the mood in the first few moths of the war, indeed in places it was compared to a celebration. Each poet expresses his views about the war and shows in his own way how it affected him and others by expressing it so anxiously in their poems .
The title of Owen’s “Dulce Decorum Est ” is very interesting because it connects to the last line of the poem . Translated from Latin it means ” How sweet and fitting it is to die for ones country”. However by reading the entire poem you see that his title is not the point he is trying to make .
The title greatly contrasts the content of the poem , it makes it seem as if the poet laughs in the faces of those who agree with his title . I would say that he’s great irony tries to show how deeply upset he is by the humanity. Unlike this title Winnifred Letts gave her title less irony and I would say more tragedy . The “Deserter ” is one of those titles which makes you think and analyze . Her title gives you a straight clue, what the message of the poem is. What I mean is that when you hear the word deserter you think of a coward, a traitor, a person with no honesty.But what Winnifred Letts does is she shows how wrong are people to think so , that by fighting a war you are a worse person then who does not want to fight in it. On the other hand the last poem that I chose contrasts greatly to the previous ones and shows much of optimism .
I think that ” The Soldier ” is another one of these titles which give you an image of what the poem is about . I would say that Brook’s title is the opposite of the “Deserter” it shows the glory of war and misses out all the incredible obstacles that people had to go through .The idea that Wilfred Owen tries to on is that war is a negative thing , he ties to make you picture an image of his view of the war. By reading through the poem you realize that his poem is mainly based on the antiwar facts . The poem tries to show how cruel and unnecessary the war is : ” Bent double like old beggars under sacks Knock-kneed coughing like hags ” One can say that he describes a soldier in a way without showing any glory or glamour. To make his point Wilfred Owen highlights all the bad characteristics of the war in his sentences , this again shows his dislike of the war .
Through vivid imagery and compelling metaphors , the poem gives the reader an exact feeling the author wanted. In the quotation the poet shows how pathetic and poor the soldiers were : ” Like old beggars ” This line does not compare the soldiers to strong ambitious man , like Ropert Brooke was talking about . On the contrary is creates pity and makes the reader see Owen’s opinion about the war. The subject matter of the poem is to show how untruthful is the idea of war being glorious . The poet constantly does something to reminding the reader how sick he is of the war .
Already in the first stanza Wilfred Owen makes his title contrast with the poem and tries to express his antiwar feelings as much as possible . The deserter is quite an unusual poem because it makes you realize how selfish and cruel we are . Her main point would be . whether you can really judge a person for , if he is afraid to die ? I think that God is the only one who should forgive and punish but it turns out differently in the war. This is another poem which doubts the glory of war , like Owen she opposes the war and tries to show that it is against the humanity.
Winnifred Letts defends the deserter in her poem as shown in the quotation : “God makes a man of flesh and blood Who yearns to live and who to die ” In her poem she tries to say that we were all born in the same way . Who is to judge a person if he is guilty or not? I also think the word God is used in this quotation to symbolize peace and to say that God did not create us for fighting . She tries to show how dramatic the war is by doing the same as Wilfred Owen , by using factual evidence. Here Wilfred Owen shows how terrible and frightening the war is : ” If you could hear , at every jolt , the bloodCome gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs Bitter as the cud ” From my point of view the poets tell us that were in constant agony and their life was the only thing that truly mattered. Wilfred Owen uses a very careful description of how the soldier was dying to pass on the feeling of horror and disgust .
I think that what the poets try to say is that war is like a beast which kills everyone in its way . Winnifred Letts makes her poem even more dramatic because she talks about a poor fellow who could not accept the fact of him fighting and killing other men.Look at this quotation : “An English bullet in his heart An English bullet in his heart ” The poet states how dramatic can war be. By using repetition the poet makes the reader think about the sentence more carefully and pay attention more to its meaning. Hoe ironic can it be that a soldier goes to fight for his country and his own country-men shoot him. Winnifred Letts also personifies fear and death and makes them two alive characters . She describes Fear and Death as the symptoms of war , and asks you the question , What is so great in it?However Rupert Brooke answers that question , all through his poem you can see signs of patriotism and reasons for the likes of the war . He and Winnifred Lettes have a different image of God they contrast a lot because Rupert Brooke thinks that you will go to heaven if you defend your country .
Therefore in his mind God tells us to fight for our country and die fort it. Winnifred Letts on the contrary says that God has created us for a different purpose rather then fighting till death. Here is an example of that : “God makes a man of flesh and blood Who yearns to live and not to die ” She comments that we were brought to this world for living in harmony and peace , and that we were given a life not just to waste it in a moment but to discover the world. Rupert Brooke says that to die for ones country is a privilege and that by showing your courage you will prove how determent you are to save your country. Rupert Brooke passes on a very fanatical message by saying that war is just a test.
He compares England to something Dear like his mother and says that we all owe something to our country.In the following quotation you can see how the poet personifies England : ” A dust whom England bore , shaped , made aware . ” I think Roper Brooke because he might think of it as a dept or a trial , maybe he thinks he should defend it because it is his true home and his place of birth. He says the opposite of Wilfred Owen , fight and die for your country like a man. Rupert Brooke is the only one of the 3 poets that I chose to defend and show the good side of the war. I think his main message is you have got to fight for your home and be happy that you have a chance to protect it.
I think that each poem could be concluded by its tone , poets try to give their tones a matter of significance . “In Dulce Decorum Est” you can mark out the tone in the end of each stanza . Apart from the graphic imagery Wilfred Owen wants his voice to sound angry and bitter : ” My friend , you would not tell with such high zest To children ardent for some desperate glory” Wilfred Owen is disgusted that because of what we do our children have to be affected as well . His tone sounds very bitter and which is more he despises the fact that our children follow our steps and lose their life in a war.Wilfred Owen calls it the “Desperate glory ‘ which shows his sarcasm and more criticism of the humanity.
Rupert Brooke on the contrary is proud to be a part of something , a good example would be Brooke’s idea of the nation becoming an eternal mind. The poet personifies England and makes it into a real person. This is shown in the following quotation: ” A body of England’s breathing air ” Now through most of Brooke’s poem the tone is reflective and as we see in this quotation extremely patriotic. I think that the poem uses a personification to compare England to a real person, who can respond and act.
As we can see Rupert Brooke thinks that the war is something “holy” , a test for your bravery and courage. He tries to convince that death is nothing compare to what your country did for you, gave you a home. This image sound far too idealistic and that is what another anti-warn poet is trying to prove . Winnifred Letts argues that why should a man suffer when in the if God told him to protect his home God did not tell anyone to kill.
She compare to Brooke is very realistic and shows all the odds of the war : ” There was a man – don’t mind his name Whom Fear had dogged by night and day “She describes Fear and Death as man’s two biggest foes and associates them with war . The personification of death is very important because death can kill , that is what the poet is trying t show. War is not some silly game and it is very sad that the reality of Letts and Owen contrasts greatly to the images in the poem of Rupert Brooke. I would say both Wilfred Owen and Winnifred Letts try to include some irony in their poems, just to make the reader understand how mistaken are to think war is glory. Here is an example of that: ” Her best , her hero son she gave O well for her she does not knowHe lies in a deserters grave ” A big contrast in the poems of the anti-war poets is that they include the bitter reality. It is very ironic that the soldiers mother does not know the truth , and it is this that makes the reader realize how harsh the war is .
I think the poet emphasizes that only because people did not know the truth they participated in the war. But once tasted the gruesome and the agonizing reality people comprehend the situation in a war. Concepts such as those that were offered by Rupert Brooke were very sweet and honourable but they seemed more like lies.To die for one’s country is very patriotic but apart from saying it poets like Brooke were not prepared for anything else.
I would say it is the blind glory that Wilfred Owen talks about. You see a moving sense of poet’s deep love for England and its people, positive attitude toward the war . Unfortunately it can not be compared to reality and even Rupert Brooke’s great sense of optimism does not make this lie true. However Winnifrd Letts and Wilfred Owen poems show the true image of the war and what the soldiers went through. Wilfred Owen was not concerned so much about the poetry as he wrote: I am not concerned with poetry. My subject is war, and the pity of war” This quotation shows exactly what the poets Letts and Owen were trying to reflect in their poems.
Rupert Brooke’s sonnet sums up admirably the mood of the optimistic patriotisms but hides away the obscenity , the death and the blindness of the war. I admire both “The Deserter” and “Dulce Decorum Est” for the direct truth and the poet’s open-minded opinions . In the conclusion I disagree with the careless optimism of Rupert Brooke and support Owens and Letts ironic ideas about the war.