Collected Poems Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Lewis say about Owen prior to World War I in the Introduction of Collected Poems?

In the Introduction of Collected Poems, Lewis says that Owen was a competent poet prior to World War I. However, according to Lewis, Owen seemed to mature immediately under the stress of combat.

2. Explain Owen's childhood.

Owen was born to middle class parents in 1893. Though his parents were not rich, they exposed Owen to art, literature, and music. He took piano lessons. Owen was not considered well read, but for his age and monetary situation, he read a great deal.

3. Describe Owen's experience as a vicar's assistant.

Owen was forced to become a vicar's assistant because money ran short. He worked for the vicar and studied for the priesthood, but his visits to the slums around the parish convinced him of the necessity of social reform, and his faith lapsed. Due to his lapse, Owen left his position to tutor two boys in France.

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