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The End Analysis



Author: poem of Wilfred Owen Type: poem Views: 22

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After the blast of lightning from the east,

The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot throne,

After the drums of time have rolled and ceased

And from the bronze west long retreat is blown,



Shall Life renew these bodies?  Of a truth

All death will he annul, all tears assuage?

Or fill these void veins full again with youth

And wash with an immortal water age?



When I do ask white Age, he saith not so, --

"My head hangs weighed with snow."

And when I hearken to the Earth she saith

My fiery heart sinks aching.  It is death.

Mine ancient scars shall not be glorified

Nor my titanic tears the seas be dried."






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

.: :.

Wilfred Owen was an expert at telling a story in a few short lines (here as elsewhere in what is essentially a sonnet). This is perhaps the most graphic of his poem-stories.
Here he is essentially making a statement about the reality of trench warfare in his time. The idea (rather than the poem itself) begins with looking at the scale and inhumanity of the devastation, then asking himself whether even the appearance of God at the end of time could ever restore those destroyed by the conflict. From that simple idea, Owen develops fitting imagery to match the enormity of what he can see all around him.
The overall effect is enhanced by the use of assonance and alliteration; one can see from his drafts that Owen introduced assonance and alliteration to his poems during the editing process.
When one hears people say that rhythm and rhyme prevent a poet from telling a tale as it is, I would offer this poem as evidence of exactly the opposite. The rhyme is perfect and unforced (the archaic 'saith' fits the Earth as a person) and the single break from pentameters ("My head hangs weighed with snow.") demonstrates the use of two syllables of silence at each end of the line - a dramatic effect, rather than an inability to write a sonnet.
Rhythm, rhyme, assonance and alliteration make this a magical poem to read aloud, just as awe inspiring in its own way as the sights Owen beheld, but at no point can we find the poem forced into an unnatural form in order to tell the story, or the story forced into an unnatural form to fit the sonnet. That's what makes this such a fine poem.

| Posted on 2010-01-28 | by a guest


.: :.

This copy of "The End" above by Wilfred Owen is full of punctuation errors and two incorrect words. Here's the correct version:
After the blast of lightning from the east,
The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot Throne;
After the drums of time have rolled and ceased,
And by the bronze west long retreat is blown,
Shall Life renew these bodies? Of a truth,
All death will he annul, all tears assuage? -
Or fill these void veins full again with youth,
And wash, with an immortal water, age?
When I do ask white Age, he saith not so:
'My head hangs weighed with snow.'
And when I hearken to the Earth, she saith:
'My fiery heart shrinks, aching. It is death.
Mine ancient scars shall not be glorified,
Nor my titanic tears, the seas, be dried.'

| Posted on 2010-01-10 | by a guest


.: :.

After the blast of lightening from the East,
The flourish of loud clouds, the Chariot Throne;
The shouting cries of the approaching army from a direction, coming as fast and as loud as a blast of lightening. The moving around of the soldiers, Flourishing. Their leader with them riding along side for this final attack.
After the drums of time have rolled and ceased,
And by the bronze west long retreat is blown,
After the time of the war is over, such as drums rolling and stopping like the fury of the war and the sound of the constant bombings. The retreat of the army from the West is stopped; the Eastern army is victorious.
Shall life renew these bodies? Of a truth,
All death will he annul, all tears assuage?
Questioning whether life shall return to all the people that have been killed during the war. Then asking, will god reverse and remove all the death that has happened in this war and will he lessen the amount of crying.
Or fill these void veins full again with youth
And wash, with an immortal water, age?
Questioning whether god will not renew life but rather restore the blood to their now empty system and make them all young people again, giving them a chance at a normal life. Will god cleanse them over so they may live forever? Will god change their age?
When I do ask white Age, he saith not so:
‘My head hangs weighed with snow.’
Talking to asking the better time, talking to the future of the world or speaking to heaven. The answer being sung as life will not return to the bodies.
And when I hearken to the Earth, she saith:
‘My fiery heart shrinks, aching. It is death.
When listening or giving attention to the earth it sings of how its heart is shrinking and aching, and how the Earth is in pain from the suffering of all the men of the war, The Earth’s heart is now death for that is what it has seen.
Mine ancient scars shall not be glorified,
Nor my titanic tears, the seas, be dried.’
The Earth saying that the wounds it now has will not be good and heroic but a reminder of the bad and senselessness of war. It also says the massive tears it cries for the men that are dead will not be glorious either and the drying of the seas means that the seas of tears will be gone and the hole incident of war should be forgotten.

| Posted on 2009-03-26 | by a guest




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