The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen

by Wilfred Owen

Book review

We covered almost all of Owen's poetry in my English class. However, with Owen, poetry is not a chore, but Owen's cognitive approach to war has really changed the way that I, and millions of others, view any form of belligerence (especially between nations).

As I have no doubt that most of you know, Owen's poetry is against any form of military adventurism, the callousness of society, politics and religion ('What passing bells for those that die as cattle?'), and (most imp. I guess) the plight of the individual soldier against all odds, other human beings who are similar to him as they share the same burden but which he must kill, and nature itself, which 'universalizes' war, pain but also love.

There is no substitute, no defining alternative, to reading the poems themselves. They are short, yet effective to the point of evoking tears in the reader. I'm not exaggerating, I can never forget the first time I read some of them. Although I was in a classroom (with 28 other 'geniuses'), we all were united as one, taking it all while holding back what seemed to be a flood of tears. That is the effect that Owen has, now consider that this is approx. 60 years after the war that inspired it all.

Even Charles, the talkative, 'class clown' at the back would stop talking during the whole course of the lesson. Why? Well, Owen now only has a unique message in all of his poems, but his poetry is so lurid, so engagingly graphic, that one relives the entire experience, and all the angry emotions he must have felt, with him. His poetry is unique in its own respect, and Owen captures the imagination and empathy of his reader in a way that no other academic subject can, which explains why even that infamous Charles would stop talking and listen attentively to Owen's masterpieces which have changed the world...

Even if you do not necessary love poetry, you cannot fail but to admire Owen. He challenged the whole mentality of his times, like a true soldier he stood courageous and bold against the traditions which glorified war yet was hypocritical in many aspects ('the armchair patriots' for example).

PublisherNew Directions
Release date 01.01.1965
Pages count192
File size1.5 Mb
eBook formatPaperback, (torrent)En
Book rating4.35 (1809 votes)

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