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Disabled by Wilfred Owen

Poetry Project
by

ENGL 2413

on 16 December 2012

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Transcript of Disabled by Wilfred Owen

He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
— In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease.

There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why . . .
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts. That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers.

Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come? Disabled by Wifred Owen Biography
of Wilfred Owen Historical Context Effects of war
How disability affects life Some cheered him home, but not as crowds cheer Goal.
Only a solemn man who brought him fruits
Thanked him; and then inquired about his soul.
Now, he will spend a few sick years in Institutes,
And do what things the rules consider wise,
And take whatever pity they may dole.
To-night he noticed how the women's eyes
Passed from him to the strong men that were whole.
How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come? He sat in a wheeled chair, waiting for dark,
And shivered in his ghastly suit of grey,
Legless, sewn short at elbow. Through the park
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,
Voices of play and pleasure after day,
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.
About this time Town used to swing so gay
When glow-lamps budded in the light-blue trees
And girls glanced lovelier as the air grew dim,
— In the old times, before he threw away his knees.
Now he will never feel again how slim
Girls' waists are, or how warm their subtle hands,
All of them touch him like some queer disease. There was an artist silly for his face,
For it was younger than his youth, last year.
Now he is old; his back will never brace;
He's lost his colour very far from here,
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry,
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race,
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.
One time he liked a bloodsmear down his leg,
After the matches carried shoulder-high.
It was after football, when he'd drunk a peg,
He thought he'd better join. He wonders why . . .
Someone had said he'd look a god in kilts. That's why; and maybe, too, to please his Meg,
Aye, that was it, to please the giddy jilts,
He asked to join. He didn't have to beg;
Smiling they wrote his lie; aged nineteen years.
Germans he scarcely thought of; and no fears
Of Fear came yet. He thought of jewelled hilts
For daggers in plaid socks; of smart salutes;
And care of arms; and leave; and pay arrears;
Esprit de corps; and hints for young recruits.
And soon, he was drafted out with drums and cheers. Date of Birth:
March 18, 1893

Owestry (North of England)
Middle-class family
Oldest of four
Family suffered from financial strains
Began reading and writing poetry as a child
Failed to win academic scholarship to University of London 1893 1918 Date of Death:
November 4, 1918
(Age 25) Moved south
Worked as a lay reader
Part-time student at the University of Reading
Again failed to win scholarship Private teacher
Traveled to France
Taught at Berlitz School of English October 21, 1915: Returned home
Enlisted in Artist's Rifles March 1916: Began Officer's Training Course

June 1916: 2nd Manchester Regiment commissioned him as second lieutenant

December 29, 1916: Shipped out to France January 1917: Spent four months with his regiment moving in and out of the front line

May 2, 1917: Returned home
Diagnosed with shell shock; deemed unfit to lead troops

June: Arrive at Craiglockhart Hospital in Scotland
Met Siegfried Sassoon
Published his work in the hospital journal

November: Returned to his regiment
Returned to France half a year later
Wrote extensively during this period Published several poems in critically acclaimed literary journals

September: Won Military Cross for bravery What's happening? New life; cold
Presenting current situation
Physical loss Second Stanza Old life/warmth
Reflecting on how things once were
Presenting psychological and physical scars His return home
Life after war One of the deadliest conflicts in human history
Over 16 million deaths
20 million wounded Nation was becoming vain and over-indulgent
Common belief was that war would give society a fresh start and new outlook
Eager to enlist versus unnecessary sacrifice
Disabled veterans were helped, but treated as incapable
Provide plentiful and equal opportunities
Still a conflict today Recruiting Technique World War I Results of WWI First laws to assist disabled veterans
Civilian disabled: looked down upon
Soldier injured during war:
Pitied
Taken care of
Rehabilitation programs
Reintroduced into the workplace
Limited opportunities Related war to sport
Often recruited at soccer games "How cold and late it is! Why don't they come
And put him into bed? Why don't they come?" Conflicts of the Period 1911 1913 1915 1916 1917 1918 Broken rhyming pattern; lack of flow
Pauses
Elongated words
Clear pattern in certain areas and stanzas
Differ November 11, 1918: Signing of the Armistice Simile Personification Alliteration, Personification Simile Imagery Irony Metaphor Rhyme Scheme ABA CBC
Lines 1, 4, 6 are not in iambic pentameter
Internal rhyming in Line 5
Pause in Line 3 First Stanza Third Stanza Fourth Stanza Fifth Stanza What's happening? What's happening? What's happening? Rhyme Scheme Rhyme Scheme B DCDC ED
Lines 3 & 4 are not in iambic pentameter Demonstrates the irony of his injuries
Fails to remember why he enlisted
Vanity FGFG HFH IHIH J
Line 10 is not in iambic pentameter Offers reasons why he enlisted
Women
Pride IJI GG J KGKG
Line 10 is not in iambic pentameter
Pause in Line 3 & 6 Rhyme Scheme Rhyme Scheme What's happening? Rhyme Scheme Rhyme Scheme 1 5 1 1 1 1 5 5 5 5 5 10 10 1 10 LKLK MNMN OO
Line 10 is not in iambic pentameter Purpose of the Rhyme Scheme Argument Theme Soldier's isolation
Broken will to live
Attempting to move forward Chloe Takala, Katherine Rescino, Sharisa Stoddard, Conner Carroll Literary Elements Similes
Metaphors
Personification
Alliteration Irony
Imagery
Analogies Irony Analogy Alliteration Alliteration
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