Poems are one of the most powerful ways to convey an idea, message or opinion. The poem "Dulce et Decorum Est", a war poem by Wilfred Owen, makes effective use of these devices. This poem is very effective because of its use of the mechanical and emotional parts of poetry. Owen's use of precise diction emphasizes his point, showing that war is a horrible and devastating event. Through figurative language, a poem can give the reader the exact feeling the author had intended. Furthermore, the use of extremely graphic images adds more to his argument. Audience is also an important aspect of writing, and one that Owen considers well in this writing. In addition, the author uses punctuation to create texture in the poem. Through the effectiveness of these five tools, this poem expresses strong meaning and persuasive argument of the dark side of war and is an excellent example of powerful writing.
The author's use of excellent diction helps to clearly define what the author is saying. (Fulwiler and Hayakawa 163) Powerful verbs like "guttering", "choking", and "drowning" not only show how the man is suffering, but that he is in a great deal of pain that no human being should endure. Other words like "writhing" and "froth-corrupted" hint to exactly how the man is being tormented by his enemy, as well as himself. The phrase "blood shod" forces the image of men who have been on their feet for days, never stopping to rest long enough to recuperate. One can almost feel the pain of the men whose feet have not gotten a rest from the heavy boots they wear. Some of the boots are torn and worn, and some of the men have no boots at all. Frostbite. Gangrene. Amputate. All possible words they might hear. If they live long enough to find out. Also, the fact that the gassed man was "flung" into the wagon reveals the urgency and responsibility that accompanies fighting: there is no time for mourning or good-byes.