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Poetry Review - Poetry Review Amy Sweeney 05397065 Word...

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Poetry Review Amy Sweeney 05397065 Word Count: 917 Dulce et Decorum Est Wilfred Owen
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A fine example of anti-war poetry, ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ is an extremely profound and shocking poem. Composed by Wilfred Owen, it was drafted at Craiglockheart in the first half of October 1917. It was then revised between January and March 1918. By this stage of the war the opportunistic and hopeful attitudes of the soldiers had faded, as the poem clearly demonstrates. Like others of Owens this poem is given a Latin title; ‘Dulce et Decorum est’. This title is taken from Horace’s “Odes” and means, “it is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country. Sweet and decorous!” Despite the suggestions of the title, the poem itself concerns itself with dispelling the myth. The subject is turned on its head; it becomes a kind of romantic grotesque. It is thought that the poem is a response to another poem written by Jessie Pope. She also was the author of numerous pre-war children’s books. She is the “friend” referred to in the final stanza, as Owen informs her of what a lie the war itself is. He strips away all illusions of glory and heroism within war; he reveals it for what it truly is “froth corrupted…obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud of vile, incurable sores”.
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