Summary The boys are bent over like old beggars carrying sacks, and they curse and cough through the mud until the "haunting flares" tell them it is time to head toward their rest.
As they march some men are asleep, others limp with bloody feet as they'd lost their boots.
Its vibrant imagery and searing tone make it an unforgettable excoriation of WWI, and it has found its way into both literature and history courses as a paragon of textual representation of the horrors of the battlefield.
It was written in 1917 while Owen was at Craiglockhart, revised while he was at either Ripon or Scarborough in 1918, and published posthumously in 1920.
In the fourth stanza Owen takes a step back from the action and uses his poetic voice to bitterly and incisively criticize those who promulgate going to war as a glorious endeavor.
He paints a vivid picture of the dying young soldier, taking pains to limn just how unnatural it is, "obscene as cancer".The dying man is an offense to innocence and purity – his face like a "devil's sick of sin".Owen then says that, if you knew what the reality of war was like, you would not go about telling children they should enlist.They are wearied to the bone and desensitized to all but their march.In the second stanza the action occurs – poisonous gas forces the soldiers to put their helmets on.However, the final draft eliminated a specific reference to her, as Owen wanted his words to apply to a larger audience.The title of the poem, which also appears in the last two lines, is Latin for, "It is sweet and right to die for one's country" - or, more informally, "it is an honor to die for one's country".There is utterly no ambiguity in the poem, and thus it is emblematic of poetry critical of war.“Dulce et Decorum est” - Essay A poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ by Wilfred Owen conveys the horrors of war and uncovers the hidden truths of the past century.The line derives from the Roman poet Horace's .The phrase was commonly used during the WWI era, and thus would have resonated with Owen's readers.