War Poetry


Resource Pack for: War Poetry, Wilfred Owen

Created by Donna Jones


Wilfred Owen was an English poet and soldier during the First World War, he was one of the leading poets of the First World War and his shocking, realistic war poetry on the horrors of trenches and gas warfare stood in stark contrast both to the public perception of war at the time and to the confidently patriotic verse written by earlier war poets who had a romantic view of war. Wilfred Owen used his poems to express his negative attitude to the First World War. His use of comparisons and harsh imagery keeps his readers entertained throughout the whole poem. Wilfred Owen composed nearly all of his poems in slightly over a year, from August 1917 to September 1918. In November 1918 he was killed in action at the age of 25, one week before the Armistice. Only five poems were published in his lifetime. Almost all of Owen’s poems, were published posthumously. Owen wrote vivid and terrifying poems about modern warfare, depicting graphic scenes with honest emotions; in doing so, young Owen helped to advance poetry into the Modernist era.