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The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen by…

The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen

by Wilfred Owen, Wilfred Owen

Other authors: C. Day Lewis (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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I say in another review that John Donne is my favorite poet. Perhaps that is because Owen's poetry is pretty hard to read and reflect on over and over. Just read one poem - Futility. How can anyone express anything better than that? And there are lots of others that are that memorable--just not so short and perfect. ( )
  datrappert | Oct 18, 2016 |
Having never been a great afficionado of poetry, I had less appreciation for Owen's work than any true poetry lover would. A few of the true war poems moved me. I got more from the many letters he wrote, which are quoted at length in the Memoir of Appendix 1. ( )
  fingerpost | Sep 9, 2014 |
Owen's poetry poses a particular challenge to a review. His war poetry mark him out as an important poet, but his brief life and relatively small output prevent him from being ranked with the great poets of English Literature. He seems to have discovered his true subject in the war at the same time as he discovered his true form in consonantal rhyme. At his best, he produces unforgettable poems that condemn the violence of war, and particularly the horrors of World War I.

To make a book-length collection, though, means going beyond these poems. Cecil Day Lewis writes a preface and includes a biographical preface from an earlier collection. He quotes amply from Owen's letters (in both the preface and the notes), and he includes poems in various states of completion. He even includes an ample selection of Owen's juvenalia. It has to be said that these last poems aren't all that good. Certainly, it would have been hard to see in his derivative Romanticism a hint of the poet he ultimately became.

So we are left with a handful of wonderful poems that can be captured in a decent anthology. It's hard to argue that Owen's Collected Poems belong on the shelf of all poetry lovers, assuming they own an anthology that includes his best work. ( )
  wrmjr66 | Mar 16, 2011 |
I was surprised to see that there were no reviews for this collection, but then I sat down to write one and I figured out why. How do you review a collection of some of the most profoundly anti-war war poetry ever written?

I could go on about Owen's use of half-rhyme, his allusions, and his unnerving juxtaposition of violence and sexuality. I could digress into his ambiguous relationship with Siegfried Sassoon and the utter tragedy of his death in the final week of the war. (And in fact I did go on and on about it, in my undergraduate thesis.) But Owen's own introduction to his poems, unpublished in his lifetime, is still the best description of his work.

"My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity." ( )
  thelibrarina | Dec 23, 2010 |
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» Add other authors (34 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilfred Owenprimary authorall editionscalculated
Owen, Wilfredmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lewis, C. DayEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blunden, EdmundContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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