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The Show Analysis



Author: Poetry of Wilfred Owen Type: Poetry Views: 344

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My soul looked down from a vague height with Death,

As unremembering how I rose or why,

And saw a sad land, weak with sweats of dearth,

Gray, cratered like the moon with hollow woe,

And fitted with great pocks and scabs of plaques.



Across its beard, that horror of harsh wire,

There moved thin caterpillars, slowly uncoiled.

It seemed they pushed themselves to be as plugs

Of ditches, where they writhed and shrivelled, killed.



By them had slimy paths been trailed and scraped

Round myriad warts that might be little hills.



From gloom's last dregs these long-strung creatures crept,

And vanished out of dawn down hidden holes.



(And smell came up from those foul openings

As out of mouths, or deep wounds deepening.)



On dithering feet upgathered, more and more,

Brown strings towards strings of gray, with bristling spines,

All migrants from green fields, intent on mire.



Those that were gray, of more abundant spawns,

Ramped on the rest and ate them and were eaten.



I saw their bitten backs curve, loop, and straighten,

I watched those agonies curl, lift, and flatten.



Whereat, in terror what that sight might mean,

I reeled and shivered earthward like a feather.



And Death fell with me, like a deepening moan.

And He, picking a manner of worm, which half had hid

Its bruises in the earth, but crawled no further,

Showed me its feet, the feet of many men,

And the fresh-severed head of it, my head.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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i had this poem for my english essay commentary last week...and i have to say...out of all of Owen\'s poems this is the LEAST accesible...at least in my opinion

| Posted on 2012-10-02 | by a guest


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The Show is a very surrealistic poem. As Owen puts himself in the persona of a dead soldier looking down on the battlefield, the reader is introduced to the idea that Word War One was so surrealistic that people at home would never truly understand the pain of the soldiers- coming home from battle. Owen uses a good deal of animal imagery to convey how dehumanised the soldiers were. However, it is interesting to note that Owen concluded his poem with a human image of a 'head'. This may shock the reader as they come to the realisation that the 'catterpilars' described in the poem are actual human beings. This is very emotive and helps the reader to truly understand how awful and sub-human, life was in the trenches.

| Posted on 2009-05-14 | by a guest




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