Wilfred Owen, "Strange Meeting"
1. What is unusual about the poem's subject? How does it differ from other war poems you have read?
2. Where does the poem take place? How does the setting affect its tone and meaning?
3. What is gained by casting this subject as a dramatic encounter?
4. What are some ways language and imagery are used to intensify the poem's emotion? What are some sound effects?
5. Does this poem evoke elements of an earlier elegiac/romantic tradition, and if so, with what purpose?
6. What do the two men have to say to each other? What had been the ideals, abilities and ambitions of the man the speaker has killed?
7. What does the dead man mean by "the pity of war"? What does he predict for the future of Europe/humankind? What aspects of this prophecised future does he lament?
8. Who has the last word, and why is this important? Why had the dead man not fought to the death? Does this make a correction to the notion of valor in battle?
9. Is the final tone one of forgiveness? Does the poem achieve closure?
10. What features of the poem would you characterize as "modernist"? How does it resemble other poems we have read so far? Other WWI poems?
Wilfred Owen, “Disabled”
What physical details do we learn in the first stanza? What background noises does the veteran hear, and why are they significant?
What is the sequence of the soldier’s thoughts? What had been his life like before his enlistment?
How would you characterize the poem’s formal features? Are they appropriate for the subject matter?
Is the poem a dramatic monologue? If not, how do we experience the speaker’s train of thought?
Why do you think the stanzas are divided by ellipses, rather than, say, numbered?
What are some striking images or descriptions? Why are the incidents in the last two stanzas upsetting to him?
Wilfred Owen, “Mental Cases”
Why does the speaker ask so many questions? Can the reader provide answers?
What would be the effect of removing the title from the poem?
What is the state of the deranged veterans? What physical details are especially disturbing?
What are some examples of unexpected diction?
Are these cases of PTSD? How can you tell? Will they recover?
What is the sequence of stanzas?
Who are the “us” and “brother” referred to in the final lines?
Is the final line effective, and if so why?
Siegfried Sassoon, "Repression of War Experience"
1. What is the subject of the poem? What is the speaker's state of mind? Does its sequence reflect psychological theories of the day?
2. What are some repeated images and thought associations? What images especially haunt him?
3. What is gained by using the dramatic monologue form?
4. How do the poem's form and stanza divisions reflect its subject?
5. What is the significance of the final line?
Isaac Rosenberg, "Dead Man's Dump"
1. What are some elements of the tone of this poem? Would you describe it as elegiac? How does it differ from a traditional elegy?
2. What are some important images? Would you describe this as an "imagist" poem? Can you see parallels with other poems we have read?
3. What is the position of the speaker, and how does this reinforce the poem's authenticity?
4. How is language used to convey the unnaturalness of the scene? How does the poet use questions? Personification? Authorial intrusion? Do you find the use of the speaker's remarks effective?
5. What seems important about the stanza form and rhythm?
6. Does the poem have a progression? What is important or striking about the final scene? What is shocking/surprising about the lines, "We heard his very last sound,/And our wheels grazed his dead face"?
7. Does this poem provides any form of closure? Any comfort? Would you describe it as an "anti-war poem"?