"Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth".
"Dulce et Decorum Est" and "Anthem for Doomed Youth" are two poems written by the war poet Wilfred Owen, taken from his writings on the First World War. Both of these poems portray Owen's bitterness towards the war, but do so in very different ways. Owen developed many of his poetic techniques at Craig Lockhart Military Hospital, where he spent much of the war as an injured soldier, but it was only through the influence of fellow soldier and poet, Siegrfried Sassoon, that he began capturing his vivid visions of the war in the form of poetry. Many would argue that it was while writing his war poems that Owen felt most able to express his ideas on paper, and he certainly was one of the greatest war poets to have ever lived.
Arguably his most famous poem, "Dulce et Decorum Est", is a fine example of his narrative, first-person poems, written through his own eyes and based on his own experiences and views of the war. Using four clear stanzas, the poem uses standard, alternate rhyming lines. A slow, painstaking rhythm is established at the beginning of the poem through Owen's use of heavy, long words and end-stop lines, in order to illustrate just how slow and painstaking the war was. The pace then quickens during the final stanza, a rhythm achieved by the use of lines with fewer syllables and run-on endings, so that it contrasts with Owen's conclusion given in the last four lines, drawing our attention to this particular point, the whole meaning of the poem as far as the poet is concerned. In contrast, the second of Owen's poems, "Anthem for Doomed Youth", can be easily distinguished from many of his other works, as it is, a sonnet. Like all sonnets, this one has fourteen lines, divided up into two movements, with an initial, alternate line rhyme scheme used, changing to a more unusual sextet in the final movement. In this movement, the first and fourth lines rhyme, as do the second and third, and it ends on a couplet.