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Wilfred Owen: der ‚National War Poet‘ als Antikriegsdichter

Peter Krahé

Pages 153 - 187

Today widely regarded as Britain’s national war poet, Wilfred Owen (1893–1918) died a soldier’s death a week before the Armistice in November 1918. An ambitious young poet, he had strived to find a voice of his own, before the Great War of 1914–18 provided him with the theme of his life. This study evaluates his oeuvre under the dual aspects of compositional coherence and artistic and ethical development. While Owen brought topics, metaphors, images, and symbols of his early attempts to his war poetry, his stance towards the war evolved: Initially in accordance with British propaganda, he took an increasingly critical view of war in general, culminating in an all-embracing humanism, which leaves narrow nationalism and patriotism behind and professes a general idea of pity and the “reciprocity of tears”. The study establishes the structural unity of Owen’s work in the consistency of his poetical craft and the development towards the renunciation of war, which reveals him as a convinced anti-war poet.


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