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Report Thread starter 7 years ago

I have been urged by earnest violins
And drunk their mellow sorrows to the slake
Of all my sorrows and my thirsting sins.
My heart has beaten for a brave drum's sake.
Huge chords have wrought me mighty: I have hurled
Thuds of gods' thunder. And with old winds pondered
Over the curse of this chaotic world,-
With low lost winds that maundered as they wandered.

I have been gay with trivial fifes that laugh;
And songs more sweet than possible things are sweet;
And gongs, and oboes. Yet I guessed not half
Life's symphony till I had made hearts beat,
And touched Love's body into trembling cries,
And blown my love's lips into laughs and sighs.

Anyone have any sort of analysis for this poem?
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Report 7 years ago
It seems as if he is comparing experiencing life through music and the actual physical experience of life with his love/ love with his significant other. (Yet I guessed not half Life's symphony)


Wilfred Owen was a war poet, there are lots of devices here, sound imagery stirring, evoking deep emotions.

The beating drum - the beating heart
plucking guitar strings to make beautiful music - touching his significant other in this way
playing the flute with kissing her/ whomever

Comparing love and music and the emotions they stir up?

It's clearly some kind of sonnet.

It has the Shakespearean rhyme scheme ababcdcd efefgg but it seems to be divided in the Petrarchan style - octave, sestet with a change in outlook introduced in the sestet?
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Report 7 years ago

This is not a poem i am familiar with. However this may be of help. It was begun in October 1916 and completed in Craiglockhart in 1917. There was some help from Sassoon on this. I see it is the poem before Anthem for Doomed Youth in Owen's poetry cannon.

First it is a sonnet, with an Octect and Sectet. Note the repetition of first lines. There is clearly a reference music and I suspect war.

One thing I find really useful in understanding Owen is to follow his thought process and that is best done through seeing his changes in his various drafts. I believe the National library have the photostatic copies of his various drafts for his poems. they are downloadable. Download them and follow Owen's thought process. It is really illuminating. For example the poem was first titled "Form." The changes through the drafts of this poem were very significant. I would follow the changes and not only will you get your answer, you will have a very original essay.

Here is the link to the Drafts of Music:-

Hope that helps.

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