Anthem for Doomed Youth

Anthem for Doomed Youth?

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Owen's poems depict the grim facts of trench warfare, stressing in particular the human cost of war: the ravages of gas attacks on their victims, the horrors of seeing the frail bodies of beautiful young men crushed and broken by industrially massproduced armaments, and the desolation in witnessing an entire generation laid waste. The romanticized view of war, presented in the works of many of OwenÂ’s contemporaries, continually gives way to an unsparingly realistic perspective of a soldier at the front, which at the same time manifests compassion. Owen himself wrote in a draft preface meant to precede his poems when they were published:

This book is not about heroes. English Poetry is not yet fit to speak of them. Nor is it about deeds, or lands, nor anything about glory, honour, might, majesty, dominion, or power, except War. Above all I am not concerned with Poetry. My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.
(War Poems and Others, p. 137)


Anthem for Doomed Youth