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Strange Meeting Analysis

Author: Poetry of Wilfred Owen Type: Poetry Views: 1942

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1 It seemed that out of the battle I escaped

2 Down some profound dull tunnel, long since scooped

3 Through granites which Titanic wars had groined.

4 Yet also there encumbered sleepers groaned,

5 Too fast in thought or death to be bestirred.

6 Then, as I probed them, one sprang up, and stared

7 With piteous recognition in fixed eyes,

8 Lifting distressful hands as if to bless.

9 And by his smile, I knew that sullen hall;

10 With a thousand fears that vision's face was grained;

11 Yet no blood reached there from the upper ground,

12 And no guns thumped, or down the fluies made moan.

13 "Strange, friend," I said, "Here is no cause to mourn."

14 "None," said the other, "Save the undone years,

15 The hopelessness. Whatever hope is yours,

16 Was my life also; I went hunting wild

17 After the wildest beauty in the world,

18 Which lies not calm in eyes, or braided hair,

19 But mocks the steady running of the hour,

20 And if it grieves, grieves richlier than here.

21 For by my glee might many men have laughed,

22 And of my weeping something has been left,

23 Which must die now. I mean the truth untold,

24 The pity of war, the pity war distilled.

25 Now men will go content with what we spoiled.

26 Or, discontent, boil bloody, and be spilled.

27 They will be swift with swiftness of the tigress,

28 None will break ranks, though nations trek from progress.

29 Courage was mine, and I had mystery;

30 Wisdom was mine, and I had mastery;

31 To miss the march of this retreating world

32 Into vain citadels that are not walled.

33 Then, when much blood had clogged their chariot-wheels

34 I would go up and wash them from sweet wells,

35 Even with truths that lie too deep for taint.

36 I would have poured my spirit without stint

37 But not through wounds; not on the cess of war.

38 Foreheads of men have bled where no wounds were.

39 I am the enemy you killed, my friend.

40 I knew you in this dark; for so you frowned

41 Yesterday through me as you jabbed and killed.

42 I parried; but my hands were loath and cold.

43 Let us sleep now ...


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

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| Posted on 2017-08-24 | by a guest

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i found that the strange soldier whom the soldier poet meets in \" strange meeting \" is none other than poet\'s another self ,perhaps his poetic self which was killed by his Own pursuation of the profession of soldiery

| Posted on 2012-04-06 | by a guest

.: :.

In writing a poetry analysis or review of the poem \"Strange Meeting\" by Wilfred Owen, it is helpful to start with a summary. A poetry essay should show a free and clear understanding of the poet\'s message and meaning. This poem begins with an assumption about the state of consciousness in which the speaker, perhaps a soldier, finds himself. This is brought out by the words \"strange\" and \"it seemed.\" The soldier feels that he has escaped the reality of the fighting above ground by disappearing into a tunnel under the ground, only to find that the horrors there are worse than those above. At least the people up there are still alive. He finds that even under the ancient earth, there are bodies everywhere, some groaning, some already dead. The repetition of sound in the words \"granite, groined and groaned\" is effective in portraying images of pain and suffering.
Some \"sleepers\" are too fast asleep, comatose or dead to be wakened, but those who respond to the speaker\'s probing are worse, for they are the walking dead. More horrific still, a dead soldier responds, but appears to bless the speaker, who responds not with fear but with a reassurance that things are better down under the ground. Yet the dead soldier mourns the wasted years and the opportunities he would now never have. He talks of \"the pity of war,\" a theme very close to Owen\'s heart. He despairs of a spoiled world which future generations might not bother to improve. The dead soldier appears to grieve for the good he might have done for the world, after all the lessons the bitter war had taught him about global conflict. Then, with horror, the speaker realises that it is his own act that has taken this man\'s bright future away - he is speaking to the soldier he killed yesterday with such concentration and determination. Yet, any \"fault\" is out of their hands - they were put into the arena, to fight for self-preservation, by others. The poem ends with an invitation from the other soldier \"let us sleep.\" We realise that the speaker too takes his turn under the ground and is perhaps dead after all.
Wilfred Salter Owen is greatly revered as an accomplished World War I poet. He was moved and motivated by the bloody and harrowing scenes of grief and suffering on the French battle lines. Owen began to see the whole concept of war as futile and absurd. He was teaching in Europe in 1914 as World War One broke. Owen enlisted in 1915 on a trip home, and was dispatched to the trench fighting in France. However during 1917 he was sent home to Edinburgh to recuperate from shell shock. There, also ill, was poet Siegfried Sassoon. The poets became friends and Sassoon became Owen\'s mentor. Wilfred Owen then tried out a more naturalistic style of poetry about the horrors of war, while experimenting with poetic forms. In 1918 he was sent back to the front lines in France, only to die in a German attack on 4th November. Ironically, this was only a few days before the armistice was signed.
After Owen\'s death, Siegfried Sassoon promoted his work and its popularity grew and became recognized for the genius it showed. Perhaps most well-known is the poem \"Dulce Et Decorum Est,\" where Owen questions the old myth that it is sweet and fitting to die for one\'s country. \"Strange Meeting\" shows little sweetness except the belief from both sides that each had died in vain and could do little more except to lie at rest together.

| Posted on 2011-08-05 | by a guest

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I dont understand this????
can someone please explain.

| Posted on 2011-02-12 | by a guest

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I dont understand this????
can someone please explain.

| Posted on 2011-02-12 | by a guest

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The futility of war is the obvious theme for this poem. However, his diction is rich and simple.

| Posted on 2010-11-18 | by a guest

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this beautigul poem is an explanation of what he was encountering through the war

| Posted on 2010-05-28 | by a guest

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This poem portrays violence as represented through a sort of fantasy world.

| Posted on 2009-04-19 | by a guest

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This poem resembles your mother and her big dirty dull tunnel.

| Posted on 2008-09-17 | by a guest

.: Alf the bartender :.

This poem shows the escapement and duality of man through transfered epithets amongst other linguistical approaches to modern poetry. Hell is depicted as a rather aesthetically plain, but emotionally rich and contrasting with the battlefield provides a large source of amusemnt.

| Posted on 2008-05-18 | by a guest

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