• Welcome to DOSBODS

     

    DOSBODS is free of any advertising.

    Ads are annoying, and - increasingly - advertising companies limit free speech online. DOSBODS Forums are completely free to use. Please create a free account to be able to access all the features of the DOSBODS community. It only takes 20 seconds!

     

Soft lad

Wilfred Owen - war poet

Recommended Posts

Dulce et Decorum est

remember doing it in school, heart rending stuff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He's no Owen Jones mind

Edited by lid
Owen Jones is a cunt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

Whinge whinge whinge from that lot.

Their prominence derives from their continued promotion by the anti-war lobby rather than any particular merit.

Wilfred Owen MC  was wounded in 1916 and suffered shell shock but returned to the front and  died fighting for his country in November 1918

Seigfried Sassoon was wounded in action several times and won the Military Cross for rescuing a wounded man under enemy fire.

Robert Graves was so seriously wounded on the Somme that he was incorrectly reported dead.

Isaac Rosenberg killed during the German offensive 1918 

Edward Thomas the author of Adlestrop killed at the battle of Arras 1917

Edmund Blunden survived the Somme and Third Ypres. Won the Military Cross for bravery under fire.

Last but not least David Jones who served on the western front from 1915-1918, survived the war and wrote possibly the greatest piece of verse about soldiers experiences in the Great War in his work 'In Parentheses '

They knew what the were 'whinging about'.

One thing the UK has produced is a lot of outstanding War Poets. Ironically  most people are unaware that the Second World War produced almost as many good ones as the Great War, including Keith Douglas who was the equal of Wilfred Owen and was tragically killed in Normandy in 1944.

http://war-poets.blogspot.com/2011/05/keith-douglas-vergissmeinnicht.html

If you want the truth about war go to the poets not the historians.

Edited by Virgil Caine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I knew (most of) that.

I don't see how being wounded or killed makes you a de facto better poet unless you take the X Factor approach of putting through a mediocre singer because they have a "tragic" back story.

If you dont understand why they are all good poets I cant really explain it to you. Wilfred Owen and Keith Douglas are a cut above most of the rest. The nature of poetry is to condense the reality of existence in a way that prose never quite manages. Anyway I am not going to waste my time arguing the matter but just suggest you look at Keith Douglas who is neither a whinger or anti war but still in Owens tradition of war poetry. I just think you are wrong on this one.

Edited by Virgil Caine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Virgil Caine said:

If you dont understand why they are all good poets I cant really explain it to you. Wilfred Owen and Keith Douglas are a cut above most of the rest. The nature of poetry is to condense the reality of existence in a way that prose never quite manages. Anyway I am not going to waste my time arguing the matter but just suggest you look at Keith Douglas who is neither a whinger or anti war but still in Owens tradition of war poetry. I just think you are wrong on this one.

Fair enough. I am wary of any poets or writers who are feted for their associations rather than for their work and feel that the WWI poets are on a pedestal when I think that their work is OK but doesn't evoke the sort of emotion that I get from Wordsworth or Housman.

If they had not been reflecting a major event in history that casts a long shadow then do you think we would have heard of any of them?

Maybe Sassoon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Weren't they all homosexual or believed to be? Apart from Sassoon none were "of money" either so they had a lot going against them at the time. I'd be inclined to say that their talent at poetry got them where they 'are' today. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, spunko2010 said:

Weren't they all homosexual or believed to be? Apart from Sassoon none were "of money" either so they had a lot going against them at the time. I'd be inclined to say that their talent at poetry got them where they 'are' today. 

Until he stupidly pushed it too far Oscar Wilde's homosexuality hardly held him back; nor was it a barrier for Noel Coward's huge success in the post war years.

Artists, writers, musicians and poets have always had a pass on this.  It's not a modern thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is popular among modern revisionist historians to decry the poets of the Great War for skewing our historical understanding of the event. That is not really the fault of the poetry but rather due to the fact that it was cited as evidence of betrayal of a generation in the late 1920s when it turned out that a Land Fit For Heros was all just a lie. This led to the war time  commanders such as Haig not being properly evaluated on their merits. 

One thing the historians tend not to mention is that the nearly all the poetry stands as original source material as it was written at the time the events occurred not in retrospect and needs to be evaluated accordingly not simply dismissed. It is not the whole story but it does capture in miniature what the war was like.

Second and more importantly the young men who produced the poetry between 1914-1918 like all poets were basing their poems on what they experienced and knew.

And what they knew was war.

 

Edited by Virgil Caine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Virgil Caine said:

It is popular among modern revisionist historians to decry the poets of the Great War for skewing our historical understanding of the event. That is not really the fault of the poetry but rather due to the fact that it was cited as evidence of betrayal of a generation in the late 1920s when it turned out that a Land Fit For Heros was all just a lie. This led to the war time  commanders such as Haig not being properly evaluated on their merits. 

One thing the historians tend not to mention is that the nearly all the poetry stands as original source material as it was written at the time the events occurred not in retrospect and needs to be evaluated accordingly not simply dismissed. It is not the whole story but it does capture in miniature what the war was like.

Second and more importantly the young men who produced the poetry between 1914-1918 like all poets were basing their poems on what they experienced and knew.

And what they knew was war.

 

Which comes back to what I said originally.

I am not rubbishing the war poetry rather that I think it has been given status it doesn't deserve as poetry, and is taught in schools, because of the suffering that it represents rather than its value as poetry.

To give a parallel I hugely enjoyed all ?six volumes of Spike Milligan's war diaries but the major appeal of them is their relating the reality of the war for an ordinary soldier.

As comic novels they are vastly inferior to Tom Sharpe's early books and Evelyn Waugh's works but because of what they relate they attain a status that the writing alone does not merit.

To repeat I hugely enjoyed them and reread them several times.  That doesn't make them great comic novels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

Until he stupidly pushed it too far Oscar Wilde's homosexuality hardly held him back; nor was it a barrier for Noel Coward's huge success in the post war years.

Artists, writers, musicians and poets have always had a pass on this.  It's not a modern thing.

That's certainly true Frank. Tennessee Williams (my photo) is arguably the best playwright of the 20th Century and he wrote at a time when it was still hugely illegal.

Arthur Miller is probably the only playwright who I like that wasn't gay. Although some people still said he was. :Geek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, spunko2010 said:

That's certainly true Frank. Tennessee Williams (my photo) is arguably the best playwright of the 20th Century and he wrote at a time when it was still hugely illegal.

Arthur Miller is probably the only playwright who I like that wasn't gay. Although some people still said he was. :Geek:

I've read about Noel Coward, and it may be generally true, that his being gay meant that he understood the emotions of both men and women and this meant that his plays on the emotional struggles of society families resonated with the whole audience; Terence Rattigan was similar.

It has been said that all readers are primarily "homosexual" not meaning that they are gay but that they mostly read books written by their own sex and I'd certainly go along with that because with the possible exceptions above men and women fundamentally do not understand each others' drives and nature.

When I read a woman novelist who attempts to narrate the internal life of a man it jars; I find myself thinking "No man will be thinking like that".  And the same I believe is true for women reading male authors: they get the mental processes of the female characters wrong.

For an easy insight into how they are different take a typical AIBU on Mumsnet and the answers the women give are, in the main, entire different to those men would give because they are making different presumptions and giving different weight to particular aspects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My final thought on poetry versus history is that the latter is constantly being rewritten while the former is not.

You can read a library of books about the decline of religious faith in the West or alternatively you can spend 5 minutes reading Matthew Arnold's On Dover Beach and learn the same thing

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43588/dover-beach

Edited by Virgil Caine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.