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Apologia Pro Poemate Meo Analysis



Author: poem of Wilfred Owen Type: poem Views: 17

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I, too, saw God through mud --

    The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.

    War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,

    And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child.



Merry it was to laugh there --

    Where death becomes absurd and life absurder.

    For power was on us as we slashed bones bare

    Not to feel sickness or remorse of murder.



I, too, have dropped off fear --

    Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon,

    And sailed my spirit surging, light and clear

    Past the entanglement where hopes lay strewn;



And witnessed exultation --

    Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl,

    Shine and lift up with passion of oblation,

    Seraphic for an hour; though they were foul.



I have made fellowships --

    Untold of happy lovers in old song.

    For love is not the binding of fair lips

    With the soft silk of eyes that look and long,



By Joy, whose ribbon slips, --

    But wound with war's hard wire whose stakes are strong;

    Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips;

    Knit in the welding of the rifle-thong.



I have perceived much beauty

    In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;

    Heard music in the silentness of duty;

    Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.



Nevertheless, except you share

    With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,

    Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,

    And heaven but as the highway for a shell,



You shall not hear their mirth:

    You shall not come to think them well content

    By any jest of mine.  These men are worth

    Your tears:  You are not worth their merriment.





November 1917.






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

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This poem is very sarcastic and facetious, written in response to a comment that Owen's poetry was too depressing.
Just because Owen uses words with optimistic connotations, such as "glory", "fellowships", or "merry", does not mean that Owen is saying that war is glorious or merry. Furthermore, would this not contradict Owen's intentions and motivations for writing poetry which condemns the horrors of war? This poem is structured in a way which rebukes everything that may be considered good about war. "Merry is was to laugh there- where death becomes absurd and life becomes absurder." This line shows how the soldiers are so desensitised to the idea and experience of death all around them, that the idea of life seems less realistic and normal.
Owen finishes with an attack on those who glorify war, "They are worth your tears. You are not worth their merriment" Owen condemns those have NOT experienced the horrors of war, yet justify and glorify it from the home front.

| Posted on 2016-12-08 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2011-06-01 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2011-06-01 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2011-06-01 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2011-06-01 | by a guest


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| Posted on 2011-02-08 | by a guest


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\"and gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child\" Owen is portraying he fact that the soldiers have become desensitized from the war as they now enjoy it. It is quite sadistic.

| Posted on 2010-12-28 | by a guest


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The title means \'The reason for my poetry\'. Owen is explaining why he uses negativity in his poetry when describing war. He has had first hand experience in war and witnessed the horrors of being on the battlefield, and his aim is to share this with the myopic population who think that war is fun and adventurous.
The poet uses religious reference when depicting the soldiers. They are given God-like qualities, as they have been given the right to kill. Owen explicitly writes that men have \'power\' to \'slash bones bare\' and the narrator sees \'God though mud\' The poet is implying that the soldiers are free to kill who they want without any regret, so the lives of the enemies is not valued, which dehumanises the soldiers. The use of alliteration \'bones bare\'. is in order to shock the reader that horrific killing is occuring.
Also, supporting the idea of men becoming dehumanised, the narrator implies that the soldiers have to have no remorse as they feel no \'sickness or remorse of murder\'. This is suggesting that war strips away the mental stability of men by making them insensible to kill. Owen conveys this message in \'Insensibility\', where men \'cease feeling\'. They no longer care about the immorality of murder as killing the enemy helps save their own country. Also, the narrator admits that he \'dropped off Fear\'. The soldier has had to become emotionless in order to survive. Owen uses capital letter \'F\' for fear in order to emphasise that is has a great effect on the men\'s state of mind. Also, men even laugh at war, which suggest that they have lost any feelings as they are \'Merry\' and the soldier has \'witnessed exultation\' in stanza four. He has found joy in such a ghastly place. This is a paradox because war should not be a time of happiness at all.
The poet implies that men have comradeship, which motivates them at war. The narrator has \'made fellowships\', which is important to the narrator because the men have a reason for living as they have each other\'s company. However, the idea of comradeship is jolted to a homoerotic tone because the men\'s relationships are associated with marriage and weddings. The poet suggests that comradeship is even better than \'binding of fair lips\'. Which suggets that a relationship between a man and woman is not better than the friendship that the narrator has made. His friendship with other men is even better than kissing a woman, and also the narrator glares into the eyes of his comrade in a seductive manner because his friends eyes are \'soft\' and are like \'silk\'. The words and allitteration signifiies the beauty found in their relationships. Also, Owen and Seigfreid Sassoon where very close, like lovers and they were rumoured to have had a relationship.
Men are also like blood brothers, Owen calls this \'Esprit de Corpse\' in his poem \'Disabled\', where a young man views war as a place of friendship and fun. The writer suggests that through the mens friendship, they are calm about war as their joy heals wounds as a \'bandage\', like a marriage bound by a \'ribbon\'. By Owen creating this surreal imagery of calmness, the reader fails to agree as it is not human to be calm in a horrific situation
(sorry for any grammatical errors, very sleepy)

| Posted on 2010-11-15 | by a guest


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The useof connotations is very clever!
really likethis poem

| Posted on 2010-05-13 | by a guest


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No it actually means 'justification for my poetry', he is explaining why he writes so morbidly. Great poem, great poet

| Posted on 2010-04-22 | by a guest


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Translated as "Apology for my poem" due to a comment by Robert Graves

| Posted on 2009-12-12 | by a guest




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