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Wilfred Owen's Poem

  • Date Submitted: 03/12/2011 01:36 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 70.4 
  • Words: 467
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Dulce et decorum est is a famous Latin tag meaning it is sweet to die of one’s country.   But in Wilfred poem, he did not mean it that way and the title was an old lie.   In the poem, the poet described clearly of the situation in war and the soldiers’ first experience handling gas.   He described gas as haunting and cruel.   Wilfred Owen fought in war and was later injured.   In the hospital, he wrote ‘Dulce et decorum est’ describing his anger of the brutal and evil war.   His poem was first addressed directly to Jessie Pope, a poetess who wrote ‘Who’s for the game’, then later on he addressed his poem to the public.   Wilfred Owen’s poetry reflects the haunting war.   His death in the hospital after writing ‘Dulce et decorum est’ attracted everyone’s attention.  

The first lines of the first stanza of ‘Dulce et decorum est’, ‘Bent double, like old hags under sacks’ reflects the soldiers whom were once filled with pride of going to war, are now reduced to the level of beggars and hags carrying the pressure of war and suffering like tons of sacks on their backs, forcing them to bend over.   ‘Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’, conveys how suffering the soldiers were when they went through the process of war.   In the first stanza, ‘And towards our distant rest began to trudge’ indicates death and recover meanwhile walking towards death.   ‘Man marched asleep. Many had lost their boots. But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame, all blind;’ expresses the soldiers loss in the war, how were they injured, allowing readers to give the feel of sympathizing.  

The second stanza, ‘Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!-An ecstasy of fumbling,’ repetition and highlighting the word gas, meanwhile showing the soldiers’ habit of fumbling.   The first use of gas in war, ‘And floundering like a man in fire or lime…’ indicates the gas is as evil as fire and as corrosive as acid lime, giving the readers an image of someone shouting with fear and the tense atmosphere.



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