Wilfred Owen was an Englishman who moved to France and at the outbreak of the First World War; he amongst many other young men joined the army out of a sense of patriotism. However, he quickly became disillusioned and used poetry and his first hand experience as a means of informing others of the true horrors of war. Wilfred Owen wrote many poems about his experiences during war. Perhaps two of his most famous are Spring Offensive and Exposure.
Both poems focus on the price paid by the soldiers, both poems contrast in how this price is paid. Language and metaphors are used throughout both poems. In Exposure the form of metaphor used in the first line is personification, “Cold iced east winds knife us”. Here the reader feels pain. Similarly in Spring Offensive a metaphor is used in the second stanza, “and though the summer oozed into their veins like an injected drug for their bodies pains”. At this point the reader can picture how relieved the soldiers must have felt. Both of these examples from Exposure and Spring Offensive give contrasting feelings pain in Exposure and relief in Spring Offensive.
The two poems show different aspects of war. Spring Offensive is fast paced and dynamic (in the 2nd half of the poem), “whole sky burned”. The soldiers faced death in the presence of the enemy. In Exposure the soldiers face death under the extreme weather conditions in the trenches. This poem is slow paced and repeating, “But nothing happens”. It contains passive slow verbs, “our ghosts drag home”.
Both poems contain feelings of happiness and sadness. Spring Offensive starts off happy and uplifting, going on to become deadly dangerous. At the beginning before the battle takes place language such as, “warm field” and “murmerous with wasp and midge” is used. Which then turn into hell on earth for the soldiers, “fury of hells upsurge”. Exposure although miserable throughout does have a slight glimpse of warmth and happiness as in the fifth stanza the soldiers are...