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War Poetry Post 1914

             World war one began in 1914 and ended in 1918. During these four years there were enormous numbers of dead and wounded. Soldiers as young as 18 years old defending trench lines, which produced deadlock and nightmarish battles which ended in horrific consequences.
             As everyone was a volunteer in 1914 to 1915 Posters, magazines and poems helped to recruit young soldiers making war sound fun and heroic, classed as propaganda. Poets such as Harold Begbie and Jessie Pope used their pro-war poems, which helped to sustain war effort for Great Britain. Wilfred Owen, who unlike Jessie Pope, had fought in the war and had witnessed the horrific scenes, particularly detested Jessie Pope. Owen had an anti war attitude as he wrote poems about the truth at war. Owen thought of Jessie Pope as an unfeeling civilian enjoying the drama of war at home and helping to drive men to the battle fronts, which is evident in her pro-war poem .
             "Who's for the game?".
             This pro-war poem aims to persuade vulnerable young men to join the army. The poem was part of the recruitment drive via newspapers. Pope uses striking lines comparing war to sport it is a new way to "play for England" the poem is very jingoistic with a regular beat and an alternative rhyming pattern. It is extremely enthusiastic and it has a positive feel.
             The title "who's for the game?" is a question directed to all unsure would- be young recruits needing answers. The title is repeated in the first stanza. Who's for the "game?" is a metaphor for war making war sound like fun, trying to remove any fear for the would-be recruits. Jessie Pope recognises that if she compares war to something young men enjoy, then the men will familiarise themselves with war and they will wonder why they often questioned the fear of fighting. To use this theory pope uses sporting imagery,.
             "The red crashing game of a fight?.
             Who"ll grip and tackle the job unafraid?".
             "Fight" demises war to a simple tussle between countries and "grip and tackle" is used because young men played football and rugby therefore Pope is identifying with the fun and fearless image.

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