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Summary session:
Themes, ideas and impressions of Owen's poetry


Disturbing / grotesque/ blunt/ graphic/ death

These are different yet related words that you all came up with last week.
I provocatively asked you if you thought Owen was too graphic in his poetry, and
contrastingly if he was perhaps not…

Page 2

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In fact, a sense of empathy is evoked for the German `melancholy army' who in
`shivering ranks of grey' share in the suffering imposed by nature (lines13-14).

Nature as innocent: `Miners'

Bitterness/ Anger/ Disillusionment/ Passionate/ Desolation / Cynicism

Rob summed Owen's poetry up by using the word impiety. Though I…

Page 3

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While songs are crooned;
But they will not dream of us poor lads,
Left in the ground'

It is also mourning a loss of religious faith:
`Anthem for Doomed Youth'
`The Last Laugh'
`A Terre'

Incompetence:
`The Sentry'
`Futility'
`Strange Meeting'

Matt also pointed out how Owen explores the universal…

Page 4

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Rob's idea: that Owen's poetry takes more of a general/journalistic/ commentary
approach, one that is often impersonal and more of an observation of others
rather than experience.

Lawrence: Owen does not present a sense of camaraderie in his poetry. Owen
rarely uses `we' and this could suggest that as a…

Page 5

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Dehumanisation

Sense that war deprives you of your human qualities:
`Dulce...'
`Bent double, like old beggars under sacks...
...coughing like hags...
`The Show'
The soldiers are like `thin caterpillars' that `writhed and shrivelled'
`Mental Cases'


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