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The War Poems Of Wilfred Owen

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  372 ratings  ·  25 reviews
'Orpheus, the pagan saint of poets, went through hell and came back singing. In twentieth-century mythology, the singer wears a steel helmet and makes his descent "down some profound dull tunnel" in the stinking mud of the Western Front. For most readers of English poetry, the face under that helmet is that of Wilfred Owen.' Professor Jon Stallworthy, from his ...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published September 27th 2018 by Vintage Classics
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I have alway loved the poetry of Wilfred Owen, the power of his words are haunting and honest from a man that was suffering through the trenches and all its horrors of WWI. This book gave me more of insight into the man and his relationship plus just a few things that where happening around the time as each poem was written. This was a really good book to read over time.
Jared Pangier
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
"This book is not about heroes. English poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. / Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War. / Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. / My subject is War, and the pity of War. / The Poetry is in the pity" (Owen 98).

This poignant quote, intended to be his preface to his collection of war poetry had he lived to see it published in that form. But, like too many soldiers of WWI and other wars,
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
War is horrifically brutal, yet Owen describes the horrors with such grace. An eloquence which captures the abominations of war, leaves no doubt in one's mind that in his short lifetime he was subject to horrors no human should have to endure. His poetry, whilst taking inspiration from the Romantics, has his own deeply haunting style. It is nothing short of life-altering for me.

"If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.

Arguably the greatest war time poet of all time Owen managed to articulate the brutal horror, desperation and total devastation of The Great War through the most beautiful words in the English language. The greatest tragedy being that Wilfred Owen was killed one week before the end of the war. His family received news of his passing on Armistice day as the country celebrated peace and
Chris Allan
Dec 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing British poet that really shook things up with his angry verses. He was after all there in the thick of it watching men die all around him, as more were sent to take their place. Owen, Sassoon and Graves are all worth reading to express the hell the men had to experience.
Lewis Hughes
Poetry G O D

Wilfred Owen is, and will forever be, one of the greatest poetic literary voices we've ever seen. His poems need more recognition.
Nicole Aziz
Not a fan. Its about war. But still, I didnt like the writing. Bo ring ...more
Jan 20, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: okay, poetry
Nothing in this volume is as poetic as Owen's letter to Sigfried Sassoon. "You did not light me; I was always a mad comet; but you have fixed me." That one. My problem is I went into it expecting that, or something to equal Sassoon, and it's neither. Is it good on its own terms? It has its moments, but I suspect I will remember none of these poems in six months, whereas I often come back to that letter and think 'THAT is the definition of love'.

(Maybe it would have worked for me if they were
The poetry is in the Pity. Here it's not just "the monstrous anger of the guns." but Owens empathy for his comrades (and even his enemies) that make this the most effective anti-war poetry ever written. At a time when war had fully industrialized, Owen's poems bring a human reaction to an inhuman situation. For example his poem "With an Identity Disc" evokes a number of reactions; a reaction to Britain's first full scale implementation of dog tags, the individual soldier's desire to be ...more
Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
It's not often I find myself immersed in poetry, but this collection written by Wilfred Owen has left me dizzy with admiration toward his vivid imagery and general intellect. These poems don't hide anything about the tragedies and haunting realities of War; as Owen says himself, "My subject is War, and the pities of War. The poetry is in the pity.". His poetry differs on topics - some are written to point out the inhumanity of War, some are written to highlight the madness and mentality of ...more
May 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: wwi buffs
Owen, a poet who fought and died in WWI, is best known for "Dulce Et Decorum Est." He is excellent at haunting imagery (froth corrupted lungs) and has a good ear (Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,/But limped on, blood-shod). This is the first time Ive read a poetry book straight throughgenerally I open pages randomly and read whatever I find, and digest the whole thing over the course of months or even years. This collection is an excellent historical document, but too heavy (and ...more
Julia Edgar
Oct 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the bells rang out across Europe for the end of the war. As the armistice bells rang a knock came on the door of Wilfred Owens parents. He had been killed on the 7th but the telegram only arrived an hour into peacetime when his family thought he had survived.

His poetry endures to give a voice to all those who lie on the Somme and in Flanders for eternity. The Great War in all its futility and horror is seen most clearly through Owens
Max Gibson
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I. Love. Wilfred. Owen. The beauty of his poetry is outstanding, it hits you right where you least expect it. More than one musician has been influenced to set his writings to music; Benjamin Britten in his 'War Requiem' is a good example!

Owen is not an ostentatious poet, like many. His imagery of the war is bold, gruesome, to the extent fearsome. He is definitely the best war poet of his time.
Daisy Cann
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful, wonderful, beautifully written and incredibly thought provoking poems of a man who had first hand experience of the horrors of the trenches. That Owen thought that he could warn future generations of the 'pity of war' was, in hindsight, absolutely heartbreaking and makes his work even more wonderful to read.
Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Dulce Et Decorum Est still sends shivers up my spine. We studied in in school for GCSE and it is one of those poems I find myself going back to and reading again.

I like war poetry, somehow it has more meaning then others. I'm no judge of good poetry, I admit I don't really get most of it - but some poets really touch me - and Owen does. So sad though. So sad.

Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection is from a wonderful and brilliant poet - they are written with creativity, intelligence and skill and will be remembered long after reading the. Owen is a master in his field and one of the best.
I had some of his poems in A Level English when I studied abroad for a year, so I did enjoy quite a few of the poems collected in this book. Hovewer, there were some that I didn't like very much, hence the rating.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
My favourites were:

With an Identity Disc
The Letter
Dulce Et Decorum Est
The Last Laugh
The Chances
The Sentry
Wild with all Regrets
Nadia Harley
The collection of poems are a unique and emotional perspective on the First World War, with an insightful and well written voice.
Jo Benson
Very moving. Paints a picture of the grotesque side of warfare.
Hamish Taylor
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the big torch to my little candle.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First encountered the war poets in my teens, no matter how many times I read Dulce et Decorum Est the impact never lessens.
Mary Lyse
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book and poems. Never get tired of reading it!
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I hate war movies, but Owen has really opened my eyes to war poetry. "Dulce Et Decorum Est" is my absolute favorite, but each and every one of them is amazing.
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwi
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Wilfred Edward Salter Owen MC was an English 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 and stood in stark contrast to both the public perception of war at

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Dulce Et Decorum Est

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of disappointed shells that dropped behind.

GAS! Gas! Quick, boys!-- An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And floundering like a man in fire or lime.--
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,--
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.”
“Sleep mothered them; and left the twilight sad.” 18 likes
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