Wilfred Owen’s poems are some of the most widely recognised. He used his poetry as a perfect means of expression to educate the population of the horrific nature of war.
It is evident that in Owen’s early poems they commonly include strong full rhyme (e.g Conscious). However, in his later poems this then develops to half para-rhymes (e.g Futility, Dulce Et Decorum Est). However, Owen also commonly uses the form of the sonnet which can be deemed as highly ironic as sonnets are mostly associated with love and there is nothing lovable about war.
However, another extreme development of Owen’s techniques can be noticed through the original alliteration which becomes onomatopoeia to then reflecting assonance. A couple of examples of this can be seen in his poem ‘The Last Laugh’ where he uses “Dad” and “dead”, “mood” and “mud” and also “moaned”, “grinned” and “groaned”. He also does this in ”Arms and the Boy’ when he writes “apple” and “supple”. He uses these words to link the lines of the poems, but also to add to the overall sound of the poem when it is being read aloud to convey a certain emotion I.e despair; this is similar to the aliteration he uses which develops into onomatopoeia. (Mentioned in previous blog about Owen’s techniques).
Owen uses a variety of punctuation throughout his poetry to create a number of different effects. His most commonly used punctuation mark is the hyphen – mainly seen in ‘The Last Laugh’: “Another sighed – ‘O Mother, – mother, – Dad!'”. Owen has stated that poetry is in the pity and that pity is in the punctuation thus highlighting how important he found his punctuation to be within his writing as it adds to the overall tone of the poem.
Overall, Owen uses these techniques as a powerful means of communication. The techniques stated above add to the very important messages he conveys throughout his poetry. Through his poetry he ensures that the soldiers have a voice and that he can make sure that war is never forgotten.