• Annotated Full Text
  • Literary Period: World War I
  • Publication Date: 1917
  • Flesch-Kincaid Level: 6
  • Approx. Reading Time: < 1 minute
Poetry

Anthem for Doomed Youth

Wilfred Owen (1893-1918), the foremost British soldier-poet of the First World War, wrote “Anthem for Doomed Youth” in 1917 while recovering from shell shock at the Craiglockhart War Hospital near Edinburgh. One of the most celebrated of his poems, “Anthem for Doomed Youth” employs visceral imagery to describe the atrocities of trench warfare as well as funerary metaphors to critique the incompatibility of religion and combat. This poem, along with four others, were the only poems published during Owen’s lifetime. He died shortly thereafter in 1918 during battle, one week before the end of the war. Thanks to friend and fellow poet Siegfried Sassoon, Owen’s full manuscripts were compiled and published after his death. Although Owen’s poetry career was short-lived, his poetry, which speaks to the futility of war and the vain sacrifices of young soldiers, remain some of the most celebrated for their timeless relevance.

  • Annotated Full Text
  • Literary Period: World War I
  • Publication Date: 1917
  • Flesch-Kincaid Level: 6
  • Approx. Reading Time: < 1 minute