Anthem For Doomed Youth by Wilfred Owen Essay
This poem was written by a soldier by the name of Wilfred Owen. In this poem Owen really brings out the pain and suffering that war brings to people, and throughout this poem it is apparent that he is extremely against war. He believes that soldiers are basically being led to death. Before I even began to read this poem I was able to get so much imagery by just reading the title “Anthem for Doomed Youth. ” The title really caused me to open up my eyes because to me there seemed to be a sense of irony in the title of this poem.
When I heard the word anthem, it made me really think about our country’s national anthem, which gives me thoughts of hope and glory, and also doing the right thing for your country. I really felt that Owen kind of twisted this idea though by putting more of an emphasis on being led to their death. Although in the last part of the title when it said doomed youth, I felt that even though these soldiers where being lead to death they were doing a very noble thing by dieing for their country.
In the opening line of this poem Owen’s first words are “What passing bells for these who die as cattle? ” This first line in this poem gave me so much imagery. In this line he was comparing the young soldiers going to war, to cattle that are being lead to getting slaughtered. This line really captured the sense that these soldiers were getting ready to die before they even set foot on the battlefield. As I said earlier in the essay these soldiers were being lead to their death. After the first line Owen continues with even more imagery by saying “Monstrous anger of the guns. To me this line really brought out a lot of imagery. By reading “Monstrous anger of the guns” I got a very vivid picture of the anger and hostility that these soldiers were going through.
The words “anger of the guns” is what really put that picture in my mind because he made it sound as if it were the guns that brought forth the anger rather than the soldiers. Owen continued to put an emphasis on the soldier’s guns once again when he said things in the poem such as “Only the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattles,” and also when it said the “Wailing Shells. It seems in this poem that Owen is really trying to put the emphasis on the weapons which are taking the lives of these young soldiers. I thought that he might be doing this to try to show the reader his disgust for war. The final stanza of this poem really had a lot of images that discussed death. At first it was hard for me to understand this final stanza of the poem because of some of the words that were used in it, but once I looked them up in the dictionary I was able to get a lot of imagery out of it.
The words “pallor” and “orisons” were two of the words that gave me this imagery. When I read these words in the dictionary they created very clear pictures in my mind. The word pallor is a funeral cloth, and the word orison’s is another word for prayer. The descriptions of flowers and the imagery of blinds being drawn down were also things that I felt really showed imagery. All of these signs of imagery really represented the darkness that is a lot of times associated with death.
Overall this poem was a very sad poem that really brought out the pain and sadness that is associated with war. It seemed as if Owen was also showing anger at the waste and loss of life that war causes. Although these men were dying for their country Owen made it seem as if these soldiers’ lives were still wasted. These soldiers were basically being lead into death. In this poem I really felt that the title summed up everything, Owen believes that the young were doomed and never had a chance. Owen really expresses his anger and disgust at the waste of these young soldiers’ lives.