English and Literature
Submitted By alexcostin
Part 4, dulce et decorum est
Wilfred Edward Salter Owen born18 March 1893 died 4 November 1918 was a British poet and soldier, one of the leading poets of the First World War. His shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare was heavily influenced by his friend Siegfried Sassoon when they met at a hospital for people with war injuries. He was killed in action at the Battle of the Sambre a week before the war ended.
The poem is written in loose iambic pentameter and contains 28 lines. Its about a group of soldiers walking back to camp when a gas bomb goes of, the men all get there gas masks on but unfortunately one man is not quick enough, this is wilfreds best friend and he watchs him die and has many nightmares about it after. The next part stanza 4 is about how they have to drag all the dead bodies onto a cart an take them to a grave somewhere, he concludes the poem by saying the old lie “dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” this means it is good and right to die in war.
Stanza 1: ‘bent double, like old beggars under sacks’ saying how tired the men are, how there crouching low to avoid the bullets and being seen, how these are young men but being described as beggars. ‘knock kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge’, again describing soldiers as hags and saying how the ground they’ve walked on has been bombed so many times its sludge, also how tired they are, ‘ till on the haunting flares we turned our backs’ haunting flares, haunting always in there head, ‘men marched asleep, many had lost there boots’ shows how tired they are by ‘ marched asleep’ how they’ve marched so many times its engrained in there heads, how there poorly equipped, ‘but limped on, blood shod. All went lame; all blind; drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots of disappointed shells that dropped behind’. Saying there boots are coverd in blood…...