please help me with my war poetry essay?
For my essay we have to compare the way two poets portray war: I was assigned ‘Glory of women’ By Siegfried Sassoon and ‘Dulce et decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen.
Glory of women:
You love us when we’re heroes, home on leave,
Or wounded in a mentionable place.
You worship decorations; you believe
That chivalry redeems the war’s disgrace.
You make us shells. You listen with delight,
By tales of dirt and danger fondly thrilled.
You crown our distant ardours while we fight,
And mourn our laurelled memories when we’re killed.
You can’t believe that British troops ‘retire’
When hell’s last horror breaks them, and they run,
Trampling the terrible corpses – blind with blood.
O German mother dreaming by the fire,
While you are knitting socks to send your son
His face is trodden deeper in the mud.
Dulce et decorum est:
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.
GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!– An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.–
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,–
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
I’ve written this so far:
Despite being both written about world war one, ‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ by Wilfred Owen, and ‘Glory Of Women’ by Siegfried Sassoon describe two different subjects of world war 1.
‘Dulce Et Decorum Est’ is about the horrific world war one battlefield and the dreadful welfare of the soldiers, and tells the story of a troupe of soldiers during a tragic gas bomb attack. ‘Glory Of Women’ portrays how women of the first world war domesticated and admired soldiers although the reality of war was horrific: and criticizes the tendency of women.
What do you think? We also have to write about the language and atmosphere of the poem. Please help?
You might want to re-read the two poems and then start your essay again. It’s not really accurate to say that Sassoon and Owen “describe two different subjects.” Both poets write about how ugly and horrible war is, about the suffering and degradation that soldiers endure on the battlefield. And both poems contrast that painful reality with some prettied-up, glorified image of war that they attribute to somebody back on the home front, far from the battle.
When you’re looking for differences in the approaches of the two poets, there are two areas you can explore:
1. What does each poem say about how horrible war is? (Obviously, Owen’s poem, which is significantly longer, offers more specific, in-your-face description. Sassoon’s shorter poem has some explicit detail, but just suggests or hints at certain things — the passing mention of “dirt and danger,” the reference to “mentionable” war wounds, which invites the reader to imagine all the unmentionable ones.)
2. Who is each poet addressing or lecturing or scolding? Sassoon speaks directly to women, telling them that their romantic or sentimental images of battlefield glory have nothing to do with the horrors that their men actually endure. Most of his sonnet is addressed to English women, but in the last few lines he also speaks to women on the enemy side. Owen doesn’t single women out, doesn’t criticize just one gender for having unrealistic ideas about war. When he addresses “My friend” in the final lines of the poem, he’s not talking to one individual or one segment of society. He’s talking to society in general, to everybody in the civilian world, to everybody who’s naive enough to believe in slogans about military glory handed down from ancient times. (If you haven’t already looked up the Latin saying that provides the title and the concluding words of the poem, web search it right away.)