Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen, 1893–1918, English poet, b. Oswestry, Shropshire. He served as a company commander in the Artist's Rifles during World War I and was killed in France on Nov. 4, 1918, one week before the armistice. Owen's poetic theme, the horror and pity of war, is set forth in strong verse that transfigured traditional meters and diction. Nine of these poems are the basis of the text of Benjamin Britten's War Requiem (1962). Although Owen had worked on poems while living in France between 1913 and 1918, he never published. While on sick leave from the front in a Scottish hospital, he met the poet Siegfried Sassoon, who encouraged him to publish in magazines. He did, but these efforts were cut short by his return to the front. Two years after his death Sassoon arranged for the publication of 24 poems (1920).

See his collected poems (1931, 1963, and 1973); collected letters, ed. by his brother, Harold, and J. Bell (1967); biography by A. Orrmont (1972); study by G. M. White (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Selected Letters
John Bell; Wilfred Owen.
Oxford University, 1998
Noble Essences: A Book of Characters
Osbert Sitwell.
Little, Brown & Company, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Wilfred Owen"
The Red Harvest: A Cry for Peace
Vincent Godfrey Burns.
Macmillan, 1930
Librarian’s tip: Includes many poems by Wilfred Owen
Modern Poetry: Studies in Practical Criticism
C. B. Cox; A. E. Dyson.
Edward Arnold, 1963
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Futility" by Wilfred Owen
"Greater Love": Wilfred Owen, Keats, and a Tradition of Desire
Najarian, James.
Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 1, Spring 2001
Facing WWI with Poetry and Courage
Walters, Colin.
The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 5, 2003
Cognitive Poetics in Practice
Joanna Gavins; Gerard Steen.
Routledge, 2003
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 5 "A Cognitive Grammar of 'Hospital Barge' by Wilfred Owen"
Poets of the 1939-1945 War
R. N. Currey.
Longmans, Green, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. II "First World War--Brooke, Sassoon, Owen"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator