A Critical Analysis Of 'The Send Off' By Wilfred Owen. (1893-1918) This essay intends to examine the poem 'The Send Off' by Wilfred Owen.
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This essay intends to examine the poem "The Send Off" by Wilfred Owen. Owen wrote this poem while he was stationed at Ripon army camp. He was based there after being a patient at the Craiglockhart War Hospital, this is where he met Robert Graves and Siegfried Sassoon. Owen was at Ripon between March and June, 1918 and died in action on the fourth of November 1918.
"The Send Off" is a poem about some troops that have just come from a sending off ceremony before departing by train, presumably to the frontlines of World war One. The poem has many themes running through it. Some of these are death, strangers, flowers, secretiveness and healing.
The poem opens with a very claustrophobic first line -
"down the close, darkening lanes they sang…show more content… The theme of funerals is picked up again in stanza two -
"Dull porters watched them, and a casual tramp
Stood staring hard,"
The strangers, the porters, tramp, guard and women are all watching the troops, covered in flowers march from their army camp to the train station. The troops, in deliberately, are predressed for their funeral and there are no apparent cheers or voices in the poem as they depart, they are leaving silently, secretly and this leaves the reader feeling that it is a funeral convoy passing by and that the troops are experiencing foreboding of doom and may well be resigned to their fate on the frontlines.
"They sang their way dimly gay"
further shows that the troops are resigned to their fate and are singing their way to almost certain death..
interestingly, there is a large amount of secretiveness throughout this poem. It is first apparent in stanza three -
"So secretly, like wrongs hushed-up, they went."
This line makes the reader question why the troops are departing so secretly, then in line thirteen the phrase -
"We never heard to which front these were sent."
Shows that the troops and general public were not aware of where the troops would go to fight, or what the true nature