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Apologia Pro Poemate Meo

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Ecclesia Chang

on 15 April 2013

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Transcript of Apologia Pro Poemate Meo

Backgroud information Setting and Theme Where??
The poem takes places away from the front line as Owen reminisces on the memories he had there.

The poem takes place in 1917 when the war was going on and he had just gone back from his time off at Craiglockhart after being diagnosed with shell shock. "I,too" (1 and 9)
He gives first hand info.
He analyzes and recalls memories.
Makes war more believable.

"I,too, have dropped off fear" (9)
He compares himself to the other soldiers and shows the are all going through it together.
Feels sympathy for himself and all the other soldiers.
This has been personified, as if to pick up and drop as and when they pleased.

"I have perceived much beauty" (25)
He speaks for himself and shows his own emotions.
Thought to be said in a horse almost force voice. Characters Structure... listen to the reading of this poem above and listen to the pauses and emphasis on the specific endings of words and the downbeats and the tone in his voice. Diction & Stylistic Devices Apologia Pro Poemate Meo
by Wilfred Owen Apologia Pro Poemate Meo, the title of this poem basically means "Apology for my poetry" or an
"Explanation of his poetry"

- This Poem was written in November 1917, just after Wilfred Owen had been released from the Craiglockhart War Hospital after he was admitted for suffering from shell shock in the trenches.

- This poem was written when Owen had already been slightly influenced by Robert Graves, who was another accomplished war poet of that time, who encouraged him to try and be more optimistic in his poetry. The poem conveys the battle between good and evil, both for the soldier and war as a whole.

The soldiers don't think about their merciless acts of killing, they just do it for the bigger picture, shows they've loss their humanity.

The poem has been written to try and show people that war is idealized and made to look wonderful but that is far from the truth.

The meaning, is fairly ambiguous as you really have to read between the lines. Message and Purpose 1. Soldiers "wretches smiled" (2)
They think lowly of themselves but can't do anything about it.

"not to feel sickness or remorse of murder" (8)
They are pitiless and merciless in their acts.
They are trained to be mindless souls on behalf of their government.
Don't question morality

"thought they were foul" (16)
Rude, arrogant, boisterous, bad-mouthed and rowdy 2. Lovers "untold of happy lovers in old song" (18)
Things have changed for people at home.
They are anxious, worried and on edge.
War breaks lovers hearts

"soft silk of eyes that look and long" (21)
Saddened and cry for those long lost lovers to come back safe and sound.
soft silk has a connotation to tears. 3. YOU (third person, reader, people at home) "these men are worth your tears" (35)
Feel pity and sorry for those men at war.
Imperative. Demanding.

"you are not worth their merriment" (36)
They owe you nothing and you must feel guilty for all they have already done for you.
These soldiers have the right to have loud strong opinions. 6:34 Nevertheless, except you share
With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,
And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:
You shall not come to think them well content
By any jest of mine. These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment." syllables Line 1: 6 or 7 syllables
Line 2: 10 or 11 syllables
Line 3: 10 or 11 syllables
Line 4: 10 or 11 syllables 9 Stanzas 4 lines in each stanza.
first line is used as a topic sentence.
- the "-" dash is used to connect the topic sentence to the explanation but they're not used in the last 2 stanzas. - None of the lines have a CAESURA (except the last), thus showing that the poem is meant to flow without stopping and starting.
- Caesura was used in the last stanza " These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment." this is the most important line in this poem. This could be that Wilfred wanted this line to flow and not be interrupted so the reader could read it and take it all in as opposed to reading it in sections.
The A b a b rhyming scheme helps to lift the moods that are common in so much of Owen’s best work,

Different meters are used, a mixture of iambic pentameter and trochees, this prevents jauntiness.

Trochee is a metrical foot, a stressed syllable followed by an unstressed syllable Last 2 Stanzas "I, too, saw God through mud -
The mud that cracked on cheeks when wretches smiled.
War brought more glory to their eyes than blood,
And gave their laughs more glee than shakes a child.

Merry it was to laugh there -
Where death becomes absurd and life absurder.
For power was on us as we slashed bones bare
Not to feel sickness or remorse of murder.

I, too, have dropped off fear -
Behind the barrage, dead as my platoon,
And sailed my spirit surging, light and clear
Past the entanglement where hopes lay strewn;

And witnessed exultation -
Faces that used to curse me, scowl for scowl,
Shine and lift up with passion of oblation,
Seraphic for an hour; though they were foul.

I have made fellowships -
Untold of happy lovers in old song.
For love is not the binding of fair lips
With the soft silk of eyes that look and long,

By Joy, whose ribbon slips, -
But wound with war's hard wire whose stakes are strong;
Bound with the bandage of the arm that drips;
Knit in the welding of the rifle-thong.

I have perceived much beauty
In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight;
Heard music in the silentness of duty;
Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.

Nevertheless, except you share
With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell,
Whose world is but the trembling of a flare,
And heaven but as the highway for a shell,

You shall not hear their mirth:
You shall not come to think them well content
By any jest of mine. These men are worth
Your tears: You are not worth their merriment." the word "mud" is repeated for emphasis and Owen chose to mention it in the 1st stanza because it refers to the mud the soldiers used as camouflage and it's also a brown colour that's murky and dark like the feeling of war and evil. "Cracked" is an onomatopoeia and the "k" sound emphasizes its monosyllabic and harsh sound. It's used in this line to show the pain and agony the soldiers are going through and how broken they are from the war. Owen writing something about the war bringing glory is unlike his previous work, and this line shows the positive influence Robert Graves encouraged him to show in his poems. War is Personified in this line and this line is saying that Glory doesn't exist and blood is being shed of innocent victims. The first line is ironic because Owen is actually saying it's fun and joy to be at the trenches at war when it really isn't. He then goes on and the second line talks about how it's better to be dead than to be alive and in the trenches. "slashed bones bare"- the word 'slashed' is the use of onomatopoeia and it's a very scary, murderous word and 'bones bare' is alliteration and it emphasizes the emptiness and vulnerability of the hurt. The last 2 lines of this stanza talks about how the soldiers have lost their humanity and kill without any remorse. Fear is personified in this line and is referred to as someone that could be picked up and dropped.
- it also shows how Owen like the other soldiers have lost their souls and hearts hence lost the feeling of remorse and to fear. Barrage- Wall of Bullets
Platoon- Military Unit Religious reference referring to Owen's spirit leaving him and going into the light, leaving his body with darkness. The entanglement where hopes lay strewn is a contrast to the dead bodies of soldiers scattered on the ground and all hope is lost. Exultation is religious diction and it's a form of proclamation and rejoicing and in this case it's rejoicing and worshiping them for their murderous acts. "Scowl for scowl" is an onomatopoeia and it talks about how the public used to grunt and look down on him. Owen used religious diction again with the use of 'Oblation' which is an offering to Gods typically bread and wine and it is contrasted with the bowing down to soldiers and the offering of riches, bread and wine to the nation's heros. It's sarcastic because Owen sees it as disrespect and just wrong. Seraphic: An angel, mystical figure and to be foul, is to be corrupted, poisoned and unpure and Owen is contrasting those two. Soft silk is the use of alliteration and gives a very delicate feel to the pronunciation of the repeated "s" and it talks about the glossy, tearful eyes of sadness. 'By Joy' is sarcasm and the ribbon slips refer to a medal of honour winners recieve like the heroes from war or it could mean the bandages of the injured. 'drips' is a figurative imagery word and is very visual that you can almost hear it. This line also talks about how the medal did not protect him as the weapons of war are too powerful and ends up injuring him causing his arm to drip with blood. A Rifle- Thong is used to clean a gun and
Owen clearly says it's not worth it to exchange your life for a medal that wouldn't even save you from a rifle shot. Owen uses sarcasm in this stanza as he says he has seen beauty and found peace in the trenches with the explosions, the cries for help and the gunshots. The mention of the soldiers' hoarse oaths refers to their loyalty by taking the oaths but their hoarse voices could be due to the lack of water out there. heaven and hell imagery contrasting death and life
which draws a very fine line between and heaven is percieved as the only place soldiers will find peace. The final verse is the most significant and it's written in the 2nd person making it stand out because it addresses the reader, specifically, the government and nation. It talks about the dead soldiers who died for their country and are now safe at peace in heaven from their deceptions and propaganda ready to deceive more men to sign up for the army. They can only cry now, which explains the tears but the government will not have joy and peace (merriment) that the soldiers they find in death. Himself, Owen THANK YOU :)
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