English Poetry Coursework Essay Sample

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I have been given a task, which consist of three poems, in which I have to explain what the poem is about and then compare the second poem with the first poem and the third poem with the second and first poems. The poems that I am going to do are:

1- ‘The Send-Off’

2- ‘Spring in War-Time’

3- ‘Reported Missing’

‘The Send-Off’.

‘The Send-Off’ is a poem written by Wilfred Owen. It is a poem to do with war. It is about the soldiers when they are about to leave and head towards war. They don’t really want to go to the war but they act like as if they are willing to go. The first line shows their acting:

“Down the close darkening lanes they sang their way”

They were singing as if they really wanted to go to war. You can see they are not happy because in line three the poet writes:

“And lined the train with faces grimly gay”

They were lining up to go in the train with faces like they were barely happy. The tramp missed the soldiers; the poet writes in the sixth, seventh and eighth line:

“Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp

Stood staring hard,

Sorry to miss them from the upland camp”

You can see from this how sad the tramp was to see the soldiers leaving. The women of the soldiers were urging the soldiers to go to the war by giving them flowers, the poet says in the fourteenth and fifteenth line:

“Nor there if they yet mock that women meant

Who gave them flowers”

From this you can see that their women were happy to see them fighting for the country.

The writer’s attitude towards the soldiers is negative because he seems to say that the soldiers are ‘Wimps’ because they are afraid of going to the war.

The writer’s style of language is stylish in which he uses the modern type of English.

The writer seems to end the poem in a way which could offend the soldiers by saying in the sixteenth line:

“Shall they return to beating bells”

The poet is trying to say that he does not think the soldiers will return back from the war.

The poem consists of eight stanzas and most of the poem rhymes.

‘Spring in War-Time’.

The ‘Spring in War-Time’ is a poem written by Edith Nesbit. It is a poem to do with war. It is about how the season of spring was in the war. The main difference between this poem and the first one is that this poem concentrates more on the season while the first poem concentrates on the soldiers. The poet says:

“Every bird has heart to sing”

By this the poet means that everything was nice and peaceful and the birds were singing.

The attitude of the writer is a bit of both, positive and negative. Positive because she says the birds were happily singing and that is a good thing meaning a sign of peace, but negative because she misses her loved one who is in the war, she says in the first four lines:

“Now the sprinkled blackthorn snow

Lies along the lovers’ lane

Where last year we used to go-

Where we shall not go again”

What she means by these four lines is that she used to go with her loved one in the woods for a nice walk but as soon as he went to the war she has lost hope that they will ever go together to the woods because she thinks he is going to die in the war.

The writer’s style of language is quite effective, but more difficult to understand compared to ‘The Send-Off’, whereas the Wilfred Owen makes his poem easier to understand.

The poem consists of four stanzas, so it is a shorter poem than ‘The Send-Off’, and the poem rhymes all the way. The first line rhymes with the third and the second line with the fourth.

‘Reported Missing’.

‘Reported Missing’ is a poem written by Anna Gordon Keown. The poem is about her loved one who is missing whilst he was in the war. But she keeps hope that she will find him, unlike the other two poems this poem is not actually touching the ‘war’ part. The poet is positively sure she will find her loved one, because she says in line seven:

“I laugh! I laugh!- For you will come again-

By this the poet means, that she is calm and is pretty sure her loved one will return. She says in the last line:

“Being so very sure you are not dead”

From this the reader can easily understand that she is very sure that her loved one is not dead.

The writer’s attitude is positive throughout the whole poem because she is sure about everything that is going to happen.

The writer uses some hard words, but it is easy to understand, compared to the ‘Spring in War-Time’.

The poem is quite short and is all in one stanza and does rhyme a lot.


Throughout the coursework I did what I said in the introduction and found out how poets use types of languages, grammar, their attitude, what the poem is about and I was also quoting from the book.

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