Wilfred Owen Poems

June 29, 2018 General Studies

These were used as themes for many of the poems he had produced. ‘Miners’ and ‘Disabled’ were both written during the period of WW1. They share the reality of war and the effects of it on humans, both psychological and physical. ‘Miners’ is Owen’s respond on a colliery disaster, which caused a big shock to him and made him very disappointed. Many men and even young boys were killed there and he wanted to convey the truth to the ordinary people; not to forget.

This is shown in ‘But they won’t dream of us’ as no one is going to remember what actually happened on that bloody day. However, the dead bodies are going to be transformed into coal, which is a source of heat for future generations. The second poem I have chosen is about a soldier, who signed up for the war when he was a teenager, but the fighting made him disabled. He has got no limbs, which makes him extremely desperate, leaving his mind in questions such as ‘Why don’t they come?. ’ The poem is supposed to bring back the painful memories.

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Both poems show us use of alliteration, which then leads to a stronger effect and exaggeration of the meaning, either with the ‘show steam-phantoms simmer’ or ‘ghastly suit of gray’. Another device is the metaphor, when the real meaning is covered by a ‘blanket of something else’. To be more specific, ‘Miners’ are a metaphor of how people only know about the kill-crazy soldiers who just want to destroy the enemies, instead of other people, who also work very hard for a better future of the nation.

Personification is another common feature, as ‘coals were murmuring’ and ‘comforted years will sit soft-chaired’. Colliery disaster respond also shows a very heavy use of pararhyme, and quite a lot of hyperboles, which drag the reader into the story. This is seen in ‘grown wistful’ joinder. Owen wanted to convey the feeling of disability in ‘Disabled’. The poem shows a sometimes big and sometimes relatively small difference between war and football, as he was a teenage boy when he signed up for the army, and played this sport a lot before the disaster. 1st part is about how he ended p after the accident, the 2nd is about what is different about the people’s reactin when they see what happened to him, and the last one is about how desperate he is. ‘Miners’ on the other hand shows a heavy use of contrasts; ‘Death’ x ’Peace’. In my opinion, this is supposed to point out the fact, that there is always a balance between good and bad, so called Chinese ying yang. The similarity between the poems, and the way Owen conveys disability and death, is a time contrast, as the disabled man talks about what he used to be like and what he is now; ‘legless’.

At The same time ‘the fireplace’ explains to us how the dead bodies are actually going to heat us in the future, as coal is made up of corpses, and coal is used to set up a fire. War isn’t really realistic, we all know that, so neither the poems from the period are. They share the depressing, desperate and angry mood. They are basically questioning, questioning about how the society works and how the people believe in false and especially unrealistic things, such as a teenage boy signing up for the army ‘for it was younger than his youth’. Disabled’ also shows a naivety of the boy, his temper for no more living as ‘he has lost his colour’. He will never ever be able to be ‘after the matches, carried shoulder-high’, because he will never ever score a goal again. ‘Miners’ show the stupidity of the rich ruling over the poor. In this case ‘the comforted years will stretch their hands’ as the high levelled majors and generals are sitting in their luxurious mansions, telling others what to do, whilst the real soldiers in trenches suffer and many of them die every hour.

The poems ‘Miners’ and ‘Disabled’ both differ and similar in various areas. Even thought the disability might seem like a less serious case of injury than death, to me the disabled man feels dead, even though he’s alive. I think the poems are both very catchy and impressing, since the feelings and ideas are very well highlighted. The strongest emotion that came up into my mind after I have read the poems was probably compunction for both the man and the dead. Even though the works are both cruel in a way, you can feel the author’s honesty in them, which is very important.


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