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The War Poems Of Wilfred Owen Paperback – 3 Feb 1994

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Product details

  • Paperback: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (3 Feb. 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701161264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701161262
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 143,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The complete and definitive edition of Owen's war poems.

From the Back Cover

The complete and definitive edition of Owen’s war poems

Wilfred Owen was the greatest poet of the First World War, and his death in battle, a few days before Armistice, was a disastrous loss to English letters.

This volume gathers together the poems for which he is best known, and which represent his most important contribution to poetry in the twentieth century. Taken from the definitive edition of Owen’s work, and containing material unavailable to other editions, this selection has been edited by Professor Jon Stallworthy, who has written an illuminating and authoritative introduction.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By William Burn VINE VOICE on 31 Oct. 2008
Format: Paperback
This review is intended to serve two different audiences: in the first part I'll talk about Owen's poetry, and why, if you've not done so before, you should, must and absolutely have to spend some time getting to grips with his writing; and in the second part I'll deal with the ins and outs of this particular edition of his verse (there being a great many available on the market.)

So, why be so insistent that you read Owen? Well, he was in many ways the most talented poet writing in English in the First World War, and his poems go furthest to communicate the experience of the men who fought in the trenches to readers almost a century away from the battles he saw. His most famous poems, such as "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "Dulce et decorum est" are lyrical, elegant pieces of poetry that present intensely moving images of what Owen himself described as "the pity of war", and no-one will ever forget the image of the young man who was a second too slow to put his gas mask on. These poems are his most traditional, owing a clear debt to Keats and Shelley, and it seems as though in them he is writing the final verses of the great Victorian century of poetry. Yet there is much more to his writing: some of his poetry shows the early shoots of modernism, for example in the more allusive (and elusive) "Strange Meeting" and "Insensibilty", in which Owen seems to be looking forward, using language and techniques not unlike those of Eliot and Pound. For me, though, the poem which has moved me every time I have read it for over 15 years is "Futility", a tender and beautiful lament for a young man killed just before dawn. It is true that 90 years have passed since Owen died, but his poetry remains for us the defining account of the Great War.

So to the second part of this review.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. Whiteside TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 14 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading the fabulous biography on Wilfred Owen by Dominic Hibberd. As the title suggests, it is the poetry that Owen wrote during the 1st World War that dominates this book although there are many interesting notes added by John Stallworthy that add weight to the poems and informs about the life of Owen. I only wish that I had more inkling as to what poets try to say as I struggled to absorb several of the poems. That is obviously my lack of imagination and understanding and no fault of the poems themselves as they are extremely well written.

When the poetry did register it proved to be pretty powerful stuff. From my point of view it was the following poems that resonated and lodged firmly in my mind.
'The Last Laugh'- The haunting cries of three soldiers as they utter their last words. Sad,simply told but very poignant.
'Dulci Et Decorum Est'- A soldier killed by gas which was to haunt the poet's dreams.
'The Dead Beat'- The soldier that cracked under pressure and then died without any sympathy from the Doctor.
'SIW'- The tragic tale of a soldier taking his own life.
'Exposure'- Waiting in the freezing cold,almost wanting something to happen.The question 'What are we doing here?' says it all.
'The Sentry'- A sentry blinded in a blast. His bulging eyeballs haunted Owens dreams also as he muses 'I try not to remember those things now'.

This is a very good book although I preferred the biography. When the poetry hit home it was very powerful indeed. This is very well edited and I would definitely recommend it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By kate.tictac@virgin.net on 15 May 2001
Format: Paperback
I first got this book because I needed it for an essay, but after reading found it to be a fabulous insight into the brutal nature of war. Owen really tells it like it is and while the rest of the world were, at that time, glorifying the wonders of war Owen was actaully depicting the harsh reality. Clearly shown in poems like Dulce et Decorum est and He Died Smiling. For an excellent insight on the real nature of war it is highly recommendable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By roadrunner on 7 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
reading the poems of wilfred owen you soon realise the horrors of the trenches in the great war.other books i would recommend to read about WW1 are TOMMY by richard holmes and also THE WESTERN FRONT by the same author.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By B. Davison on 11 May 2005
Format: Paperback
Clearly, Owen was a genius. His poetry really speaks of the horrors of war and serves as a reminder to all us youngsters that World War I should not be romanticised or forgotten.
On the day of receiving this, I read all of the poems as well as the biography of Owen himself. All of Owen's best work is here, and I'm particularly fond of 'Futility' and 'Anthem for Doomed Youth'. Owen's poem 'The Wrestlers', which I didn't know about until I bought this, was also an enjoyable read.
I just wonder how many more great poems Owen would have written if his life hadn't been so cruelly cut short by the Great War. Whatever he would have written over the next 50 years, I'm sure it would only have served to cement his place as one of the great war poets. Owen was made immortal by his early death, but, on the evidence of his short life's work, he would have become a legend anyway.
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By NikonD3100 on 14 Mar. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's got all the poems I need for my English Literature AS Level and it's fairly compact. The pages are bound quite tightly so it makes it difficult to keep a page open and the front cover scratches easily. These are cosmetic issues but I guess I have to review the whole thing, inside and out! I can't exactly comment on all the poems in here but there are some lesser-known ones it contains that my English teacher thought were useful and the footnotes are somewhat helpful, albeit fairly hard to decipher! Overall a pretty good buy; it's not overly expensive like geography textbooks are!
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