What are some of the techniques used in the poem, "Disabled," by Wilfred Owen?

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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There are a variety of poetic techniques Wilfred Owen employs in "Disabled." Some of them are listed below.

In the first stanza, Owen uses a simile, and then a metaphor:

Through the park 
Voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn,


Voices of play and pleasure after day, 
Till gathering sleep had mothered them from him.

There is the use of irony as well:

And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race 
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh. 

One time he liked a blood-smear down his leg, 
After the matches, carried shoulder-high...

Whereas cuts and bruises were something to be proud of after a football game, the loss of blood in war is totally different, and there will be no celebration after this injury.

Repetition is used several times in the poem. At the beginning we see the phrase "voices of..." and later, at the end of the poem, "Why don't them come?"

Finally, Owen's use of imagery is extremely impactful:

He's lost his colour very far from here, 
Poured it down shell-holes till the veins ran dry, 
And half his lifetime lapsed in the hot race 
And leap of purple spurted from his thigh.

Owen, a soldier and poet in World War I, who was himself killed in that war (one week before the armistice was signed), humanizes the experiences of the battlefield and the sacrifices made there, timelessly memorializing such actions, regardless of the era.

awirboy's profile pic

awirboy | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

A Caesura is used 

"He thought he'd better join. -He wonder why."

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