Having seen all things red, Their eyes are rid Of the hurt of the colour of blood forever. Their senses in some scorching cautery of battle Now long since ironed, Can laugh among the dying, unconcerned. Imagination has normally been used in poems — not merely war poems, but poems in general, to symbolize hope. To have imagination is to have freedom, however Owen, in a poem of subversions, takes the idea of imagination and turns it on its head.
To have imagination in warfare is a burden — it leads the soldier down unnecessary pathways, and leaves him miserable. There is no good thing, according to Owen, that can come from having imagination in the war. Also note, once more, the machinery view of the British soldier. For Owen, this is perhaps the ultimate thing that soldiers have sacrificed: their freedom and autonomy as people to become a part of the faceless British Army, an Army that, in the end, neither cared for them nor cared that they were injured or dying or miserable.
Once more, it emphasizes the huge amounts of loss that the soldiers must have seen — their eyes have become permanently adjusted to death and to blood, leading them further and further away from humanity, and highlighting, once more, the difference in the way of thinking between a soldier and a civilian.
The implication is that this is a coping mechanism — an acquired talent that allows them to laugh even when they are among their dying comrades.
Not only have the men become all insensitive, they lost their physical feeling; their knowing; and care for nothing. The next stanza describes the contentment of the men who left and now remain without any notion. Owen later on tells us about the men who are not trained to plan ahead. These men are the ranks, rather than the officers and NCOs, who would have undergone a thorough training and have had greater experience, thus enabling them to think for themselves, rather than merely following orders.
Soldiers generally would sing to overcome their fright and try to forget the death of their fellow soldiers; however what they sang was nothing, as dusk approaches. Dusk is traditionally associated with death, but in war poetry is generally less feared than dawn.
But they know that dusk always follows in a relentless trend which night follows day. The final verse describes the last category of insensible people were they have become stones. This implies that the soldiers are cold and unfeeling; they have become dehumanised by their experience of war. The final line in this poem shows that, regardless of the attitudes of these dullards, the mourning will never end; crying will never end. This poem is a very sad poem which the title immediately sets the scene, in telling us the main theme running in the poem- insensibility of various types of people.
Owen reinforced this verse by verse, but also provides a reason why they have become insensitive to the war, because they are either protecting themselves or are too young and inexperienced to know otherwise. Feeling words For a poem which ostensibly is about the lack of emotion, Owen frequently refers to feelings, though usually to negate them. Repeated sounds In Insensibility Owen uses alliterative patterns in each stanza to highlight particular sentiments.
The tone is mournful and haunting. This is how they cope with an impossible situation. Owen is being ironic again and making a mockery of the beatitudes found in the New Testament Matthew where Christ addresses a large crowd. Lines 31 - 39 Stanza IV Iambic pentameter dominates certain lines in this stanza, the steady beat suggestive of marching soldiers.
But the happy soldier is one who is home, oblivious to the fact that others are still being killed in some far flung foreign land. Better not to have gone through military training, those long hours of tedium, the brainwashing.
But the lad is singing a song as he marches as many of the men did whilst the more experienced are quiet, saying nothing. This is the march of many towards the huger night, the all consuming darkness about to descend on those who will die Lines 40 - 49 Stanza V e wise The speaker is saying that even with just one thought, one poetic word, their bloody souls are unclean.
What is to be done poetically when men are dying in such numbers, men who lack poetic vision? Poets have to become mouthpieces, poets have to record events and make known their feelings, through the blunt and lashless eyes of the lads, the uneducated soldiers.
There is no definitive answer to this most important question, one which should be asked of all wars and violent episodes - What do artists poets do when humans want to kill each other in wars? The soldiers, called as a divine instrument by the churches and governments of England, are now ciphers, devoid of humanity in order to survive the wasted carnage and savagery of war. They must not allow themselves to feel any human warmth. In the poem, there is a moving metaphor, half hidden as a form of reality, at the end of stanza 4.
Note the shorter lines in this stanza which produce uncertainty and pauses for the reader; surely the speaker is implying that the soldiers are running out of things to say and feel because they are isolated.
Part of the reason why the war was viewed such by Owen is the ridiculousness of it all.
Lines 19 - 30 The third stanza is the longest at twelve lines and introduces the unusual idea that war saps the creative mind - imagination - and that a soldier is happier for it.
Not the generals, not the officers, not society. The speaker is suggesting that this was a conscious choice, to ignore the sufferings of the infantrymen as they fought and died. Owen does not judge the soldiers.
The war, which was supposed to be over by Christmas, the war which was viewed almost brightly by the British elite, had, rather than going on for a few months, extended to two years. Having seen all things red, Their eyes are rid Of the hurt of the colour of blood forever.
Veins has also been used in Disabled, which also reinforces the same idea that the soldiers have become motionless, Veins ran dry. The tone above all is one of simmering contempt for those who instigated and prolonged the war - the military hgh command, the politicans, the religious leaders and ultimately the people of England.