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On Seeing a Piece of Our Heavy Artillery Brought into Action Analysis

Author: Poetry of Wilfred Owen Type: Poetry Views: 279

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Be slowly lifted up, thou long black arm,

Great Gun towering towards Heaven, about to curse;

Sway steep against them, and for years rehearse

Huge imprecations like a blasting charm!

Reach at that Arrogance which needs thy harm,

And beat it down before its sins grow worse.

Spend our resentment, cannon, -- yea, disburse

Our gold in shapes of flame, our breaths in storm.

Yet, for men's sakes whom thy vast malison

Must wither innocent of enmity,

Be not withdrawn, dark arm, thy spoilure done,

Safe to the bosom of our prosperity.

But when thy spell be cast complete and whole,

May God curse thee, and cut thee from our soul!


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

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The future uselufness of these class of weapons depends upon whether or not they can be integrated into a modern air-defense system.If they remain hand-controlled and operated they for the most part they are relatively useless.If on the other hand they can be controlled by directors controlled by modern sensors and computer systems and fire a broader range of more sophisticated ammunition then they can still be quite useful. x x

| Posted on 2013-11-16 | by a guest

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- Hi Sherri! Long time no lurk (think way back to The Amazing Race tryout days). So far as hard to reach light bulbs, check out BrylaneHome's webtsie and search for High Reach Ceiling Kit, Item number 1545-03274-1237. I'd put the link, but don't want the comment software to peg me as a spammer. About thirty bucks. I'm sure there are more/different ones out there. I just did a Google shopping search. This one had a bunch of attachments to do things like keep the dust off your cool light fixture. Hope all is well. Love your photos. -Scott

| Posted on 2013-11-14 | by a guest

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Dear Dr. Scansion,Even though I connat afford your services in person I hope you can help me fix my problems through internet. My way is to begin with the beginning ,(As you can already see my two pyrrhic feet having been bothering me).I have a nasty elision lesion o'er my body.My dacytl pain is horrible.I am stressed and confused when iamb is enjambedand assumes assonance and alliteration for no reason at all.Tall. Ball. Hall.Sorry, occasionally I spontaneously rhyme words (another symptom I'm afraid).At least I know it isn't anaphora.At least I know it probably isn't terminal.So what do you think Doc? Could I use more sonnets or couplets? Or perhaps free verse would be better? Would a pint of Plath do me good? A bottle of Brooks?I hope you can help me. I am afraid the prognosis is prosody (and over-use of alliteration). Sincerely,Neo-Rev x x

| Posted on 2013-11-13 | by a guest

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whoa, that's a bit wrong. Your generalizing all rarepps into the same category: thugs.many rarepps and artists are enlightening and speak poetry that can uplift ur soul in dark times. And no i am not speaking on the behalf of lil wayne youn joc lil gangsta w.e his name is. But rap is considered in many ways a form of poetry and put a nice beat in the background and you can have a wonderful song.

| Posted on 2013-11-11 | by a guest

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raanaare gaarU,If that is your resource, I can slfeay say that there is no doubt you are mistaken.For authenticating my explanation, let me say that I come from a family of Sanskrit teachers/ lecturers and am married into another similar family. I learnt Sanskrit as a language in high school and continued on to junior and degree college as second language.I sounded a wee bit skeptical earlier only because you seemed to have spent considerable time and effort on your research for the article and you seem to be in touch with knowledgeable people. Also, many bloggers seem to have better authority than me. I wondered why anyone wouldn't point out such an elementary misunderstanding unless it has some percentage of truth to it x రమా అన్నది x శబ్దం.

| Posted on 2013-11-10 | by a guest

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Interesting point about the lapses from Sonnet form. In both cases the problem can be cured by elision - just listen to a performance of the War Requiem by Britten:
"Great Gun tow'ring towards Heav'n, about to curse;"
"Safe to the bos'm of our prosperity"
Given Owen's love for pararhyme and polysyllabic humour, I don't think this is fallign short, I think it's worplay.

| Posted on 2010-03-04 | by a guest

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On Seeing a Piece of Our Artillery Brought into Action is a classic Italian sonnet, with the octave following the traditional abba abba rhyming pattern. The sestet follows with a cdcdcc rhyming pattern. Wilfred Owen is also known for his use of pararhyme, which is the usage of similar consonants with varying vowels. Examples of pararhyme in On Seeing a Piece of Our Artillery Brought into Action are the repetition of the rse and rm consonants in the first stanza. The usage of pararhyme justifies Owens use of harm and storm as rhyming words in lines 5 and 8. In the sestet, the rhyming pattern changes, as does the subject matter. This turn, or volta, changes the poems mood from a sadistic plea for the power of the artillery, evident in the octave, to a request for the artillery to be far removed from Britain once its job has been complete, detailed in the sestet (beginning on line 9). While most sonnets written in English are in iambic pentameter, On Seeing a Piece of Our Artillery Brought into Action attempts to conform to the ten syllables per line requirement, but falls short in several lines. For example, Safe to the bosom of our prosperity, in line 12 has 11 syllables unless the word prosperity is pronounced as prosperty. Line 2 also violates the iambic pentameter of the poem.
As a sonnet, Wilfred Owens poem takes two subjects, or moods, and juxtaposes them. These two subjects are the sadistic ecstasy that heavy artillery brings, and the sober request to have the guns far removed from life at home. In the octave, Owen commands the long black arm of an artillery piece to Sway steep against [the Germans] and refers to the imprecations of the gun as a charm in line 4. Owens tone, in the octave, is one of someone excited by the prospect of the destruction being caused by the gun. In the volta, a wave of sobriety sweeps over Owen, and thus his mood and tone change. The sestet begins with the phrase, Yet, for men's sakes, which indicates empathy, in some form. Summarized, the sestet of On Seeing a Piece of our Artillery in Brought into Action, is not a command, as in the octave, but a request for the gun, the enmity it carries with it, and its danger to be far removed from Owens home: England. However, there is never any regret expressed for the Arrogance (line 5) that the gun has attacked. In the last line, Owen asks, in reference to the gun, May God curse thee, and cut thee from our soul! With these points in mind, the theme of the poem is that while Owen loves the power of his own artillery when used against the enemy, he would never want to see the guns at home.

| Posted on 2009-10-10 | by a guest

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