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Transcript of Modern Poetry
Born in 1914 in Birmingham, England
Attended King Edward VI School then University of Birmingham
Influenced by Louis MacNeice, a lecturer at the university
Greatly loved British writer Thomas Hardy (1840 - 1928) and spent years working on a biography of him
Drafted into the Royal Army Ordinance Corps in 1941; worked as a Japanese translator during WWII
"he developed a capacity for comic impersonations of drill sergeants, a knack he perfected in the sergeant's voice in "Naming of Parts" (Cleverdon)
"Naming of Parts" published in A Map of Verona (1946), one of three poems entitled Lessons of the War
Famous as a radio playwright for BBC after WWII "Following the premise that the instructor could not be capable of literary diction, he solves the problem of the second voice by asserting that it is "sub-vocal." We are hearing the thoughts of a recruit. Like all other interpreters, Scannell never explains how these recruits became poets, nor does he seem surprised that though they have never seen war, they automatically rhapsodize about a world without war"
"the instructor's judgment of the whole lesson is that things are out of balance"
"I would argue that Reed's work is a thorough demonstration of the dehumanization of war, as embodied in the language strategy of the instructor" by Henry Reed Modern Poetry Cheyenne Larimer and Mykaela Rogers Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen Wilfred Owen Wilfred Edward Salter Owen was born March 18, 1893 at Plas Wilmot in Shropshire, and was the eldest of four children. He was educated at Birkenhead Institute and Shrewsbury Technical School. He had a strong relationship with his mother, and shared her firm belief in Anglicanism. The early influences for his poetry came from the Bible, Shelley, and Keats. He enlisted in the British military in 1915 during WWI, and he often described his fellow soldiers as 'expressionless lumps.' His early Romantic influences were quickly replaced by the traumatic experiences of war, and he was regarded as the leading poet of WWI. After being blown by trench mortar, he went to Craiglockhart War Hospital, where he met poet Siegfried Sassoon, an experience that also highly influence his life, as well as being the main influence for his poem "Dulce Et Decorum Est." His doctor at Craiglockhart also encouraged Owen to translate the experiences he relived in his dreams into poetry. In 1918 he returned to the warfront, and one week before the war ended, he was shot and killed on November 4, 1918 at age 25. He was awarded a Military Cross posthumously. Poem Reading Criticism The Modern Era occurred from approximately 1910-1965, though The Oxford Encyclopedia of British Literature claims it ended around 1939. The shifts to this period from previous areas were marked by severe breaks with traditions and old conventions, violent reactions to the Victorian Era, and focused on individualism. WWI helped modernism gain momentum, as many people looked toward the inner self for answers to concerns that rose from the horrors of the first modern war. Disillusionment was a common theme. Modernism is almost a complete complement to Romanticism as it balances out the involvement in nature, progress, and growth with motifs of decay and alienation. It focused much on the psychological aspects of realism; what is meant by the things experienced in daily life. Common characteristics of Modernist literature include juxtaposition, irony, fragmented plot structures, and alternative opinions to social concepts. Works Cited and Bibliography John Hughes, from the University of Gloucestershire, said "My conclusion would be that, insofar as the poem suggests or accommodates such a reading, it also can seem to broaden and deepen its grasp, even so far as to acknowledge covertly that the deepest, complicating iniquity of war is that its events can dispossess one of one's best self, dividing oneself from oneself and others and overwhelming one's most humane of responses toward pity and truth." Hughes, John. "Owen's Dulce Et Decorum Est." The Explicator 64.3 (2006): 164-66. Gale Infotrac. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.
Rahn, Josh. "Modernism." - Literature Periods & Movements. The Literature Network, 2011. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.
"Wilfred Owen." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Feb. 2013. Web. 17 Apr. 2013.
"The Biography of Henry Reed." PoemHunter.com. PoemHunter.com, n.d. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. <http://www.poemhunter.com/henry-reed/biography/>.
Cleverdon, Douglas. "Henry Reed." Poets of Great Britain and Ireland, 1945-1960. Ed. Vincent B. Sherry. Detroit: Gale Research, 1984. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 27. Literature Resource Center. Web. 18 Apr. 2013.
"Dictionary, Encyclopedia and Thesaurus." The Free Dictionary. Farlex, 2013. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. <http://www.thefreedictionary.com/>.
Petite, Joseph. "Naming of Parts,' 'Judging Distances,' literary snobbery and careless reading in the analysis of Henry Reed's 'Lessons of the War." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 26.1-2 (2005): 66+. Literature Resource Center. Web. 18 Apr. 2013. Literary Period: MODERNISM Intro to "Naming of Parts" Japonica - "An ornamental shrub (Chaenomeles japonica) that is native to Japan and cultivated for its red flowers" Safety Catch - "a device to prevent the accidental operation of a mechanism" Firearms Almond Blossom Tree Bee in a blossom "Naming of Parts" intersperses the ambiguities of the sergeant's instructions to the squad about the manipulation of the rifle with descriptions of goings-on in the neighboring garden" (Cleverdon) To "cock" a gun: To set the hammer of a firearm in a position ready for firing.