Figurative language allows poets and writers alike to exaggerate or alter specific linguistic points of interest. The two poets that I shall be looking at for this discourse are Wilfred Owen who is widely acknowledged for his war poetry using one of his most popular works Anthem For Doomed Youth and Elizabeth Jennings One Flesh. Jennings poetry is known for its spiritual connotations and emotional intensity. The two poems contain a common theme ‘the loss of youth’ but it’s only by examining the use of figurative language, that we are able to gain an understanding of the various connotations.
Owens use of figurative language is clearly evident before you even study the body of the text. The ironic title clearly expresses the various themes
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The young men fighting would have been happy doing their service for king and country. The families and friends left behind at home may be the anger behind the guns, “monstrous anger of the guns” devastated for the fact that their children may not come home, angry at the enemy. Owens strengthens the poems messages and imagery with the use of the personification, onomatopoeia and alliteration, these are most prominent within the third line of the octet “the stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle” the use of onomatopoeia such as ‘stuttering’ and ‘rattle’ represent the sounds of the weapons that the young soldiers’ would have been using on the battle field. The ‘r’ sounds within the alliteration and the use of onomatopoeia form images of continuous gun fire. The fourth and fifth lines comment that there is no need for religious rights and rituals, as they hold no relevance on the battle field. The young soldiers’ deaths will be so great that religious sympathy is unable to extend itself to this catastrophe. The soldiers’ enthusiasm and solicitude will ultimately lead to their untimely deaths. This is summarised in the closing line of the poem “dusk a drawing-down of blinds” makes great use of alliteration, as night fall’s so do the young soldiers, “dusk a drawing-down of blinds” the blinds become a metaphor for eye lids as they close when the young are laid to rest in the battle fields.
Jennings poem One Flesh evokes feelings of youthfulness, of times gone by, when life