The war poets: ( unconventional, anti-rhetorical way to explain the horror of modern warfare with a violent everyday language)
when the First World War broke out a lots of young man volunteered for military service. Some of them start to wrote verses that are the songs of the trenches. This group of poets ,called “War Poets” ,tried to represent modern warfare in realistic and unconventional way and explain the horror of the war to the readers in order t awake their conscience.
Different attitudes- the reaction passed through different stages:
1)patriotism that led many to enlist (like Rupert Brooke);
2)reaction against the lie of war rhetoric;
3)compassion , a sort of elegy for the young soldiers.
Rupert Brooke: is born in 1877. He is a war poet but he never reached the battle-field, actually, he died in 1915 of blood-poisoning before going to fight. One of the famous five sonnets he wrote before dyeing, is "The Soldier", that became, in 1915, one of the most popular war's poem, because the poet saw the war, not as a cruel experience, but as a way, for a soldier, to become an hero and to demonstrate the patriotism. Besides, death in war is not a tragic, but a noble end. The sonnet was successful because it celebrated the patriotic and idealistic mood of the war, before the British people's discovering of the horrors of the war. In his sonnet he shows a sentimental attitude ,and he became a sort of “young romantic hero” who inspired patriotism in the early months of the Great war.
It's like a Petrarchan sonnet, because it's composed by two quatrains and two tercets.
Personification: England is seen like a mother, his mother-country. This emphasize the love of the poet for England.
The language used by the poet is high-flown, not down-to-earth, it's emphatic (many words to express a single concept)
-Patriotism the war is a way to demonstrate your patriotism and to become immortal.
-Death a way to become immortal and a hero
-Idealistic poem how noble is to die for your mother-country
High sense of patriotism against the enemy and in defense of the country, and the idealization of those who died in battle.
Wilfred Owen: born in 1893.He was a teacher of English in France in 1913 and he comes back to England in 1915 to enlist in the army. He caught trench-fever on the Somme and was hospitalized in Edinburgh. He went back to fight in France then was killed on the Somber Canal one week before the Armistice was signed.
His experiences of the war led him to represent the war through crude and realistic details. Owen wrote poems particularly relevant as experiments in poetic technique: use of para-rhymes ,alliteration and assonance.
Preface of “disabled ad other poems”: “This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War. Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity. Yet these elegies are to this generation in no sense consolatory. They may be to the next. All a poet can do today is warn. That is why the true Poets must be truthful.”
-dulce et decorum est:
The poem is based on the poet’s experience of the horrors of the war in trenches and he communicate the “pity” of war to the future generations.
The Latin title of the poem stands for "It is sweet and honorable to die for one's country", and derives from the poet Horace's Ode 3.2 and the Greek poet Tyrtaeus.