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the genesis of a real poet
on 15 November 2006
I particularly like this collection because it includes Owen's pre-war poetry, and I think the very great importance of Owen is that he shows how real poetry is born.
Before WW1, Owen was a very SKILLFUL poet, and the war added little to that, apart from the fact that any skill just improves with practice. But a computer can write skillful poetry. What happened in the War, was that Owen found something he CARED about, and WANTED to write about, so, all of a sudden, his poetry HAS HEART ... that takes it way beyond being merely skillful.
And, boy, does his poetry have heart! When he looks on a dead friend and rails, 'why did fatuous sunbeams toil to break earth's sleep at all!', you can feel the desparate anger; and lines such as: 'the pity of war, the pity war distilled'; 'the eternal reciprocity of tears.';'truths that lie too deep for taint'; and, of course, '... that old lie, Dulce et decorum est pro patria more!', where he makes his most outright plea against the false patriotism that was used to recruit young men for the trenches.
This poetry is a must --- and especially, like this edition, showing the early work --- for anyone who wants to see what REAL poetry is, and how it is different from mere skill. This poetry is alive, from the heart, and it packs a punch!