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"WW1 poetry and Trench Warfare"
WW1 poetry and Trench Warfare
Raymon Androckitis
WWI Poetry and Trench Warfare

World War I poetry does not reflect the harsh conditions or immense losses attributed to trench warfare. It is impossible for poets to accuratly portray the conditions, events, and emotions of trench life through words. World War I poets use jargon and euphemism to illustrate the difficulty expressing trench warfare through diction. Some poets focus on the romantic illusion of war, the pride of a soldier, or the nobility of dying in combat. Other poets describe the solitude, destruction, and death as a result of war. It is uncommon for a poet to expose the particulars of the battle scene, events on the front, or a detailed account of life in the trenches. The inability to put unexplainable circumstances and events to words is why trench warfare cannot be justified through poetry. Many poets employ jargon and euphemisms to avoid the grotesque facts about war; few attempt to illustrate the monstrosity of the event through particulars, neither display the true horror of trench warfare.

The use euphemisms is prevalent in World War I poetry because it is difficult to accuratly dictate the tragic events of war without belittling its significance. Euphemism allows poets to remove the harsh and agressive feelings towards war and replaces them with a peaceful approach to the subject. Thomas Sorley uses euphemisms in his poem"All The Hills and Vales Along" . Addressed to the soldiers going to war, the poem tells soldiers to

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sing and be happy to die in war, "...'Neath the cross that Christ had,/ Shall rejoice and blossom too/ When the bullet reaches you/Wherefore, men marching/ On the road to death, sing!". The earth celebrated Christ's death and the earth will also celebrate fallen soldiers. The poem replaces the pessimitic words typically associated when describing war with language that celebrates...

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"WW1 poetry and Trench Warfare." May 26, 2018
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Literature / English
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