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Copy of "Music" By: Wilfred Owen
Transcript of Copy of "Music" By: Wilfred Owen
Octet followed by a sestet.
abab structure, ending with a rhyming couplet.
Language, Imagery, & Sound devices
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.
The theme of the poem is that one does not truly live until they have loved, and although hardships occur, such as perhaps the hardships of war and WW1 (considering the time period this was written) love will always conquer, and will complete the symphony that is life. The poem is a reminder to not get caught in the single instruments playing in the background or false tunes (religion) but to live and love truly, experiencing the entire song.
Language, Imagery, & Sound devices
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.
"Music" By: Wilfred Owen
The first stanza of the poem,
the Octet, is characterized by
the negative aspects of life
and a sense of hopelessness
with the world.
A shift takes place with the second stanza, the sestet, to more positive aspects of life, the very best things. However, the volta occurs in the 11th line, when referring to Love. The rhyming couplet serves to illustrate the physical aspects of love, as if it were an instrument.
Alliteration of S's adds emphasis to his hardships, a continuation of similar sounds has a lasting effect.
Alliteration of L's also allows for a mood of continued sorrow.
"god" is not capitalized here, this is significant to the poem because as in many of Owen's other pieces, love takes the place of religion.
Diction such as "beaten", "wrought", and "hurled" creates violent imagery that develops this "chaotic curse" of life.
Imagery of instruments
used throughout: "Chords", "Violins", "Drums", "Winds".
Alliteration of S's continues, but now has a flowing sound, creating a harmonious mood.
He did not understand life until he had loved. This metaphor of music comes together at this pivotal volta with life being a symphony, and the instruments representing small aspects that are both good and bad, but do not equal the song of love. Notice how "Love" here is also capitalized, in contrast to "god" not being capitalized in the first stanza, signifying the importance of love rather than perhaps blindly following a religion that cannot be heard or felt, such as music can.
In the rhyming couplet, imagery of the lover being played as an instrument is present, the only time where the speaker actually refers to (him)self making the music.
Theme & Significance