From My Diary, July 1914

Context

The war began on July 28th, 1914.  You may remember from the documentary that when the war broke out, Owen was spending time in the South of France teaching English. He found this an idyllic and peaceful time. If you re-watch this part of the documentary from 11:00 – 12:30 you will get a glimpse of this “immensely happy” time. 

Parrarhyme (half-rhyme) was a common device used by Owen in numerous poems. It is when words sound similar, but not quite rhyming (e.g. Maid, mead; heat, heart).

It has been suggested that this poem was first drafted while Owen was at Craiglockhart and it was Dr that encouraged him to write this as part of his therapy to treat his shell shock (Simcox).

Glossary 

  • miriads: a great number
  • Pyrenees: a mountain range in the South of France
  • scything: a scythe is a tool used to cut hay.
  • thro’: abbreviation for through
  • ebony: dark in colour
  • warbling: a description of sound, often used to describe bird sounds;
  • braid: a weave (think of braided hair)
  • brooding: thinkly deeply about something that makes one sad or angry.
  • starr’d: starred – decorated with stars.

Guiding Questions

  • What are the similarities in the images Owen is describing?
  • Are there any reasons why he has chosen these particular images?
  • Why do you think each image begins with a single word? Can you see a pattern in these words?

References

“From My Diary”, Simcox, Kenneth. The Wilfred Owen Association. 2006. Online Source. (http://www.wilfredowen.org.uk/poetry/from-my-diary)

 

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