Attitude Towards War in Poetry Essay

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Attitude Towards War in Poetry

Compare three war poems demonstrating awareness of the poet’s attitude towards war.

The three poems I am comparing are ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wilfred
Owen, ‘Vergismeinnicht’ by Keith Douglas and ‘War photographer’ by
Carol Ann Duffy. ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ is based on a world war one personal experience. Wilfred Owen was brought up with a religious background, which shows through, in his writing. His total war experience was short, as he died in battle in 1918 aged only 25.
‘Vergismeinnicht’ is based on world war two. Keith Douglas served in
North Africa during world war two where he was injured but not killed once he recovered he participated in the invasion of Normandy in 1944 where he
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Three weeks after the British soldiers beat the Germans, they return to the battlefields where they become aware of a dead enemy ‘sprawled’ on the floor, as Douglas looks closer he notices the dead enemy’s gun and instantly feels an immediate rush of embarrassment and empathy.
The next thing Douglas notices is close to the dead body is a photograph of a girl with the word ‘Vergissmeinnicht’ written on it,
Vergissmeinnicht is translated as forget me not. Douglas realises this picture was of the dead soldier’s girlfriend. He feels a pang of sadness as the realisation of the enemy’s previous life hits him. This feelings Douglas has humanised the dead enemy and he realises that he and the enemy are not as dissimilar as he had originally thought and it could quite easily be him dead on the floor. This sudden comprehension of people makes him feel very inadequate much like the poem war photographer, which is about a war photographer and the way he feels about his job. Every image he photographs and develops contains a deep sadness and great inspirational significance to his life. However, once he has developed his pictures ‘ one hundred agonises in black-and-white’ he hands them over to his boss ‘who will pick out five or six for Sunday’s supplement’. The photographer’s view of the British people is not a positive one. He feels the British people do not understand or appreciate his

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