Anthem For Doomed Youth  

 

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?

Only the monstrous anger of the guns.

Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle

Can patter out their hasty orisons.

No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells; 

Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—

The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;

And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?

Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes

Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.

The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;

Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,

And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.

 

Wilfred Owen

 

Back Ground

 

  • Written by Wilfred Owen 
  • Was written about WW1 (1914-1918)
  • What happened wasn't pleasant 
  • Propaganda lead you men to enlist, believing the war wasn't "that bad" 
  •  

Sources: http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen2.html

 

Overview:

 

  • In the first line it refers to people dying as cattle. This means that they are being "slaughtered" as that is how cattle is killed.
  • The prayers of the soldiers are drowned out by the loudness of the guns.
  • The poet basically says the prayers and church services are not enough and are thus useless and have no effect on the war.
  • This is shown when he calls them mockeries
  • Bugles are used to make a sound before a batt,e breaks out
  • Lighting of candles is used to speed up the ascension to heaven, and was not done. 
  • The only candles lit are the ones in the war.
  • And as each slow dusk, a lot more people have come to pas

 

Figures of Speech

 

  1. "Who die as cattle"- simile
  2. "Monstrous anger of guns"- personification 
  3. "Stuttering rifles' rapid rattle"- personification/ alliteration 
  4. "Bugles calling"- personification
  5. "Glimmers of goodbyes"- alliteration 
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