The two poems I am comparing are 'Joining The Colours' by Katherine Tynan and 'The Send Off' by Wilfred Owen. ' Joining The Colours' is about a regiment of soldiers leaving Dublin in August 1914 to go to France to fight. This was at the beginning of the First World War and all the soldiers were happy because it was an opportunity for them to show their girlfriends and their families that they were brave. 'The Send Off' is about a regiment of young soldiers who are departing later in the war.
This poem was written a few years after 'Joining The Colours'. The mood of each occasion is different because 'Joining The Colours' was written when the soldiers and their relative's thought that the war would be over by Christmas but instead it finished much later on and millions of soldiers got killed. The mood in 'The Send Off' is totally different because the soldiers were already afraid. They knew how dangerous the war was because of what so many people had experienced since 'Joining The Colours' was written in 1914.
There was no celebration for them because most of the people knew what was going to happen. The structure and the style of each poem varies in different ways. 'Joining The Colours' is more positive. The structure of this poem is simple. Even though there are some words which convey an image that war is bad, most of the style of writing is positive and even happy.
'The Send Off' is a more serious and frightening poem. The style of writing throughout the poem is sad and conveys an image that war is completely bad. The structure of this poem is more complicated than 'Joining The Colours'. This is because the poet is trying to convince the reader that war is the most terrible thing that ever happened. In 'Joining The Colours' the soldiers seem happy as they march to war. In stanza 1 for example 'There they go marching all in step so gay'.
This quotation shows how they enjoy marching, all together. Their attitude towards war is very carefree. They look almost as though they are 'going to a wedding day'. In stanza 2 the soldiers 'are singing like the lark'. In stanza 3 they make noises with 'whistles, mouth-organs'.
The soldiers are carefree because they are brave. They don't understand how dangerous war is because they are too young. They are not serious, they feel as if they are going to a celebration. When the soldiers leave there are many people celebrating their bravery. The first people mentioned in stanza 1 are the mothers of the young soldiers. They are watching their sons going to war.
This is an unhappy moment for them but they might not realize how bad it is because this is the first time that war ever happened to them. We feel sorry for them because many of their sons won't come back. The second group of people mentioned in this poem are those who are standing at the roadside watching. The stare at the soldiers because they are marching in rows on uniform and most people wanted to see them because they them.
The third group mentioned are the girlfriends and wives in stanza 4. As the girls are saying goodbye they kiss the soldiers because they might not kiss them again. We are supposed to feel sorry for these 'poor girls' because we know that many of the soldiers are going to die in the war. The mood of this poem is a mixture of the happiness of the soldiers and the dread of the observers watching. This leads to a tone of irony. In stanza 1 there is a mixture of happiness and frightened tone.
In the first line of stanza 1 we know that the soldiers are happy because they are all marching in step. In line 2 it starts getting frightening at the end because the young and healthy soldiers are going to be 'food for shells and guns'. This shows the reality of war. At line 3 they are all happy as if they are 'going to a wedding day'. In the last line it is very sad because the soldiers have to leave their mothers behind. This make a great impact on the reader because we know that a mother loves her son and she doesn't want him to get killed.
The soldiers are making many different noises 'with tin whistles, mouth-organs'. This makes a happy atmosphere because the soldiers don't know how dangerous war is. They are too young to understand and no-one can stop them because they are defending their country. At the end of the poem the atmosphere changes because when the girls kissed them they fear that they won't see them anymore. It also says that they stepped past into the mist, which means they won't come back anymore. The mist symbolizes the unknown side and death, which lies ahead for the young soldiers.
The structure of this poem is very simple. It has 4 verses and 4 lines and this reminds us of marching, which is the theme of the poem. The last line of each stanza is shorter than the others. This shorts line stands out and it gets noticed by the reader and has an impact; it puts across the message that war is dangerous and fatal. The imagery words give the poem more impact because they convey a picture that makes it easy for the reader to understand the message of the poem. The poem 'The Send Off' is much more serious, bitter and sad.
All the soldiers who are going to war know that they are marching towards death. When the soldiers are going off to war they are trying to be brave by singing but they are very afraid 'so secretly, like wrong hushed-up they went'. This shows that they are afraid because everything is so quiet that it looks like a secret mission. The soldiers were wearing white wreaths around their necks. Their girl friends gave them flowers for being brave. However we get an opposite impression because people put wreaths on graves of the dead.
There was no crowd cheering or celebrating the soldiers when they went off to war. This was because most of the people knew what was going to happen to them. One reason why there was no celebration for the soldiers was because they were not local to the area. The people watching didn't have any sense of emotion for the soldiers who had been training in camps on the upland. The only people who witnessed the soldiers going to war were the 'dull porters and the casual tramp'.
They didn't go to see the soldiers off, they were there because of their jobs and the 'casual tramp' was in the station to keep himself warm. The first stanza starts in a serious mood 'Down the close darkening lanes they sang their way'. At the end of stanza 1 it shows the soldiers trying to hide their fear the soldiers' 'faces grimly gay'. They try to look happy but they are afraid because they know that war is likely to be fatal for them.
There is an impression of conspiracy because everything is going on so secretly and silently as though something is going wrong. In stanza 3 it says that 'the signal nodded, and a lamp winked to the guard'. We know that something is going to go wrong because when someone winks this often means they are planning something secret and ominous for another person. When the soldiers wear wreaths around their necks it give us the impression that they are going to die. The last stanza of this poem is pessimistic because it says that 'A few, a few, too few for drums and yells, May creep back, silent, to village wells'. This is a pessimistic quote because it says that few of the soldiers will come back from war to the silent village.
The poet knows that hardly any will return and when they do, they will come back to silence, sadness and broken hopes. No one is going to be there to celebrate when they come back The structure of this poem is more complicated than 'Joining The Colours'. This is because the poet is trying to convey a picture to the reader that war is fatal and it should never had happened. The verses are in irregular lengths and it reflects the irregular chug of a steam train leaving the station. This is related to the theme of the poem because the soldiers are in the station where the steam train is going to take them to war. This is a quite unhappy moment for the soldiers because they know that they are going to be facing danger ahead.
Both of the poems are similar in being about soldiers going to war. They were both written in The First World War. An important difference is that 'Joining the Colours' was written by a person who had no experience about war and 'The Send Off' was written by Wilfred Owen who was a front line soldier and knew how bad it was from his own experience. An other difference is that 'Joining The Colours' was written at the beginning of the First World War and everyone was happy, there was a lot of celebration and most of the soldier's relatives were there watching them. 'The Send Off' is a sadder poem because there was no-one to celebrate and nothing to celebrate for the soldiers and there were no relatives saying goodbye. Most of the soldiers knew what was going to happen to them so they were quite unhappy.
Wilfred Owen and Katherine Tynan are trying to convey an image that war is bad. I think that war is like a swirling monster. Which traps and consume the unwary and leaves only dead people, which destroys hopes and leaves only despair. The poem that I prefer the most is 'The Send Off' this is because Wilfred Owen doesn't hide the reality of war and he shows that war is dangerous and destructive.