COMPARE THE effects of conflict IN
Mametz WOOD AND ONE OTHER POEM
The poem, Mametz Wood, focuses on the memories of the soldiers, the way that they are brought freshly into our imagination as the farmer's ploughs turn over the soil with pieces of bone. The poem does not give any evidence as to who they are, or why they were fighting, apart from the title itself, Mametz Wood, which was the scene of a massive battle between the Germans in the wood, and the attacking Welsh soldiers.
The author (Owen Sheers) is reflective, but saddened by the fact that despite their victory, they received very little remembrance. There are no specific references to combat, like talking about bullets, and artillery shells, but more the effects of them, 'the blown and broken bird's egg of a skull', which suggests how useless the skull is against a bullet. Even the length of the lines suggests the effects of combat, with the longer lines suggesting the 'chits of bone' being turned over by the farmer's ploughs.
Futility is more about the anger of the poet. The poet remembers of when the dead soldier was alive, before the war when he was a farmer, and when the sun used to do so much for him, like wake him up in the morning, grow his crops, things like that. So Owen is angered that the sun can't wake him from death.
The two poems are similar in some ways, but different in others. They both concern the deaths of ordinary people in the war. They both contrast the connection between death, and the earth, with Mametz wood focusing of the farmers discovering the dead, and futility is angry because nature seemingly doesn't care about all this death and destruction. They are both concerned with the memory of the dead, Mametz wood is concerned about how they were forgotten until they were turned up by the farmers, and how they had no voice as they were killed early, and their stories were lost. Futility wants to know why the sun won't wake him, as it had all those many times before, and how...