Essay On War Poetry

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War poetry is, simply put, poetry that deals with the subject of war. Often composed during a particular conflict, these poems are usually written by soldiers. However, nurses and doctors in military hospitals, and even war correspondents have written war poetry. In general, the authors are all people who have seen what really happens on the battlefield with their own eyes. Although people have been writing verses about war for thousands of years, war poetry differs considerably from previous eras’ poems about conflicts. The poems written by soldiers from World War I and later conflicts were not epics; these verses did not praise heroes or epic battles. Rather, they often questioned the purpose of war, why people fight, and overall an unflinchingly realistic portrayal of the nature of battle. War poetry is exclusively realistic, showing warfare in an unglamorous and unromantic light.
War poetry as we know it effectively began during World War I. It was commonly believed by people in every country at the outset of the war that the
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This can be clearly seen in Wilfred Owen’s “Dulce et Decorum Est,” written in 1917 as the author was serving in combat (Owen). The very title of this poem is ironic: the scenes that Owen describes are anything but “sweet and honorable;” the soldiers he portrays are not valiant heroes, but tired men worn down by endless fighting (Owen). Moreover, the author asserts that if others could experience, even in their dreams, the traumatic sights and experiences that he encountered in combat, they would not be so eager to send their children to fight in wars (Owen). The poet feels that he and millions of others were misled; the beliefs about warfare that they were taught from a young age were nothing but lie when compared to the reality of life in the trenches, where the war scarred the mind deeply as the
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