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Music - By Wilfred Owen

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Michael Robinson

on 23 July 2014

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Transcript of Music - By Wilfred Owen

Stanza 1
I have been urged by earnest violins
And drunk their mellow sorrows to the slake
Of all my sorrows and my thirsting sins.
My heart has beaten for a brave drum's sake.
Huge chords have wrought me mighty: I have hurled
Thuds of gods' thunder. And with old winds pondered
Over the curse of this chaotic world,-
With low lost winds that maundered as they wandered.
Owen manipulates sound devices and poetic techniques to create rhythm through out the poem. The first stanza is the most rhythmical contain references to drums and onomatopoeia. Plosive sounds are also used through out. The second stanza while still retain rhythm takes a more melodic tone. The melody is what is striking in a song and portrays as love as being what is striking in life. Own juxtaposes the two stanzas through the instruments extending the metaphor that life is like a song.

The title of the poem is 'Music' and this instantly shows the reader that the poem will be rhythmical.

It is a sonnet which is a love poem, supporting the themes portrayed.
Stanza 2
I have been gay with trivial fifes that laugh;
And songs more sweet than possible things are sweet;
And gongs, and oboes. Yet I guessed not half
Life's symphony till I had made hearts beat,
And touched Love's body into trembling cries,
And blown my love's lips into laughs and sighs
By Wilfred Owen
Alt interpretation:
The 'hearts beat' is talked about in the 4th line of each stanza. 4/4 is a common time signature used in love songs, further shows the reader that love is the greatest.
Also it is known that Owen often put love before religion. Taking this into account on the 4th day of creation time and the material world was created. Owen may be saying that love itself is greater than both time and the material world.
Music
I have been urged by earnest violins
And drunk their mellow sorrows to the slake
Of all my sorrows and my thirsting sins.
My heart has beaten for a brave drum's sake.
Huge chords have wrought me mighty: I have hurled
Thuds of gods' thunder. And with old winds pondered
Over the curse of this chaotic world,-
With low lost winds that maundered as they wandered.

I have been gay with trivial fifes that laugh;
And songs more sweet than possible things are sweet;
And gongs, and oboes. Yet I guessed not half
Life's symphony till I had made hearts beat,
And touched Love's body into trembling cries,
And blown my love's lips into laughs and sighs.
Personification of drum, links to his heart further and shows that he has been brave in love.
Continuous use of words containing w's with elongated sounds add rhythm to poem.
Repetition of plosive sounds at the end of the last 4 lines, extend the metaphor of the drums being a heartbeat
Onomatopoeia of drum, powerful sound describing powerful being.
Personification; violins playing earnestly trying to quench the thirst of lost love.
First stanza shows the pain of lost love , depicts hopelessness as desire to once again find love.
Words such as 'sorrow', 'wrought' and 'chaotic' dictate the tone of the first stanza. Repetition of sorrow in the 2nd and 3rd lines emphasize the melancholic feelings portrayed by Owen.
The word gods' is in lower case showing religion as insignificance. Love is portrayed as greater.
Love is given a capital letter which shows its significance in life.
Alteration of l sounds provides a smooth sound which is comparable to the security of love.
Second stanza is about how without love, life cannot be fully experienced.
Repetition of sweet reinforces idea that in life, love is the best experience.
Happy words such as laugh, gay and love are used throughout the second stanza contrasting it with the first.
Ends on a rhyming cuplet, continuing the poems rhythmic tone.
Caesura used in middle of second stanza to draw attention to the paradox between the parts of this stanza. In the first part he is happy in life, but in the second part Owen uses the metaphor of a symphony to demonstrate that only a small part of life can be experienced without love.
Full transcript