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); J. Potter, Wilfred Owen: An Illustrated Life (2014); study by G. M. White (1969).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Wilfred Owen: Selected full-text books and articles

Selected Letters By Wilfred Owen; John Bell Oxford University, 1998
Noble Essences: A Book of Characters By Osbert Sitwell Little, Brown & Company, 1950
Librarian’s tip: Chap. IV "Wilfred Owen"
The Red Harvest: A Cry for Peace By Vincent Godfrey Burns Macmillan, 1930
Librarian’s tip: Includes many poems by Wilfred Owen
Modern Poetry: Studies in Practical Criticism By 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 By Najarian, James Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 47, No. 1, Spring 2001
Facing WWI with Poetry and Courage By Walters, Colin The Washington Times (Washington, DC), January 5, 2003
Cognitive Poetics in Practice By 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 By R. N. Currey Longmans, Green, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Chap. II "First World War--Brooke, Sassoon, Owen"
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