Are "Anthem for Doomed Youth" and "Where Have the Flowers Gone" anti-war poems?

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes...  I mean it doesn't come out and say "war is bad" but here are the relevant lines.  Seems to me to be sort of saying that it's dumb to go off to war and all you get is dead young men.

Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both of these are anti-war works, but one is a poem and the other is a song.

"Anthem for Doomed Youth" was a poem written by the British poet Wilfred Owen during WWI.  Owen was a soldier in that war and was killed in 1918.

"Where Have All the Flowers Gone" is from a completely different genre and era.  It was written by the American folk singer Pete Seeger in 1961.  Seeger was a prominent singer in the 1950s and 1960s and was very much involved in opposition to the Vietnam War.

uc | Student

does where have the flowers gone criticise war?

 

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