Help with analysis of Miners by Wilfred Owen

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nbailey8
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#1
Report Thread starter 12 years ago
#1
I've been trying to figure out the meaning for ages, but can't seem to figure out the point he is trying to covey.

Any ideas?
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~Metoyou~
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#2
Report 12 years ago
#2
Me too!! :/ I hope to god that Miners is NOT the poem thats given by the exam board!
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bobbylongfan
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#3
Report 10 years ago
#3
Is there anything specifically you're stuck with or is it the poem in general. In short, the poem works around the idea of a person at their fireplace talking to the coals, wanting it to tell stories about it's previous life and it's place on earth but instead it tells the person stories about the suffocating miners. The final message is that people will happily burn coal while they sit by their warm fires and what not but won't remember the people who died to provide it for them.
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syuuuuuu
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#4
Report 4 months ago
#4
i want to know the type of miners poem
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AdooK
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#5
Report 1 month ago
#5
Taking into consideration that Owen has many past traumas regarding small holes, tunnels and underground areas, once he came across the news of 150 miners both men and boys had passed away in a mining tunnel, he had written this poem.In the beginning, we see how he idealises a person sitting in front of their fireplace (then and now still at some areas where coal is used to light up fireplaces) wanting to hear the story of the coal. Owen personifies this coal. The coal is the storyteller of the poem and feels sorrow. As we know coal is actually formed after many years through the layering of rocks and dirt while containing the energy of plants. ( Coal contains the energy stored by plants that lived hundreds of millions of years ago in swampy forests. Layers of dirt and rock covered the plants over millions of years. The resulting pressure and heat turned the plants into the substance we call coal.) Wilfred being a fan of geography and the earth itself, as the poet, wants to hear the story of the coal before its formation and how it came to be.Later in stanza 2, he had thought that the former earth, the coal would tell him about the tales of leaves and ferns from a million years and so on. He had thought that the coal would tell him stories of before the world had seen mankind and its demise. The speaker of the poem suggests that the coal was present at the disaster and that it describes what happened “But the coals were murmuring of their mine and the moans down there”. The coal longs to be back in the depths of the ground where it belongs. The memories that the coal has and the feelings it possesses is very human-like. Following in stanza 3, he symbolises time where the beginning and ending were inevitable. The cauldron also may symbolise the machines that were made during World War. The cauldron is often said to be used by witches by mixing various things just as how the coal was used to build these machines. In stanza 4, the coal in turn tells the story of the present at the mine. It could hear those at the mine that was writhing for air while being enclosed by the flames at the mining area. The coal could hear the moans of all those who suffered.Following up in stanza 5, similar to the battlefield now the persona could only see the cinder/ash and the white bones that remain. Bones that were so vastly spread that he couldn't count. 'for many hearths with coal charred, And few remember' Owen describes that when most of the people who use the coal but come to forget those who---- continued in stanza 6 He had thought of those who worked in those dark pits of the mining area. he finds a similarity of this towards the war that he had witnessed where death was at the door for many soldiers. He relates both these scenarios. We would need to take into consideration Owen himself had been traumatised by war and its effects, thus this news of people losing lives had brought him to remember his memories of war.However, the next 2 stanzas describe the lavish life of the people that gain comfort from the warmth of their hearth. People are comforted by the warmth that they would extend their hands to feel the heat and the amber at the coals. (ambers are the glowing parts towards the end ). The people would be happy with the fire that the miners had risked their lives for, 'by our life's embers' and embers here may suggest the last of the glinting fire (death that is as small as the embers from the firepit).Lastly, he says that the fire created from coals that these miners had given their lives to find will be burned for centuries for their warmth that could lull people to sleep and where songs are sung. Yet, none of them will come to remember that how the miners who are lost forever under the ground that had faced death.***I had tried my best to put into words whatever I understood in this poem. English isn't my first language, so if there are any errors please turn a blind eye to it. I had come here for answers as I will be taking this poem for my Highschool examinations in Malaysia and I had found some and I hope to help others who face the exact problem. The poem miners by far was quite hard to understand but at the same time, it's really great when you are able to understand the weight of these words. I believe this poem has a sombre tone.
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