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Spring Offensive

Wilfred Owen

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spring offensive
Added by: Meg Marsden

The poem Spring Offensive is about the soldiers waiting to go off to battle, during the battle, and what their feelings are after the battle. In the poem, nature seems to be interacting with the soldiers; when they are setting off to go to war it says, “where buttercups/had blessed with gold their slow boots coming up”. Just before the battle it says, “Till like a cold gust thrills the little word…And tighten them for battle”. When they are fighting, nature turns against them, “With fury against them; earth set sudden cups”. And lastly, after battle, it still does not forgive them, as they do not forgive themselves, “why speak they not of comrades that went under?”
Owen uses lots of imagery in the poem, my favourite being, “like and injected drug”. I find that this simile brings up all sorts of images of sunshine being injected through a needle, as if you can force someone to be happy and put on a brave face. Another good image is“surf of bullets”, it makes a brilliant reference to a wave, which is like a ferocious wall of water, powerful and huge, I think that Owen is trying to demonstrate the same feeling of enormity and strength, but with metal bullets.
As in “the Send-Off”, Owen uses a complicated rhyming scheme, which makes the poem very hard to read out loud. Another thing that makes it complicated is the irregular stanza size. I think that by making everything irregular, Owen is almost mock the army’s systems. The army is famous for it’s order and control, and Wilfred Owen is trying to portrait the reality, and there is nothing glorious or ordered about dieing for your country.

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