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The Kiss, Glory of Women by Siegfried Sassoon and Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen

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n this essay I will be comparing three poems written during the First World War two of which are written by the same author, Siegfried Sassoon and the third poem by Wilfred Owen. ‘The Kiss’ and ‘Glory of Women’ written by Siegfried Sassoon. ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ written by Wilfred Owen. Siegfried Sassoon began writing poems at the beginning of World War One. With war on the horizon, a young Englishman whose life had heretofore been consumed with the protocol of foxhunting said goodbye to his idyllic life and rode off on his bicycle to join the army.

Siegfried Sassoon was perhaps the most innocent of the war poets. John Hildebidle has called Sassoon the ‘accidental hero’. Born into a wealthy Jewish family in 1886, Sassoon lived the pastoral life of a young squire: fox hunting, playing cricket, golfing and writing romantic poems. During his training Sassoon was learning about war and was told to treat his rifle and bayonet like his brother and sister. Sassoon enjoys his training and because the training has brainwashed him to ‘love’ the rifle and bayonet, this is where Sassoon fantasises over them.

The first poem ‘The Kiss’ talks about his fantasies at war. But as Sassoon starts to experience and fight in the war, he starts to hate it, he does not like to kill people but all his training has brainwashed him and Sassoon is trying to escape that. This is when Sassoon invites ‘Glory of Women’; all of his feelings are in this poem while he is experiencing war. Mainly ‘The Kiss’ is explaining how Sassoon is enjoying his training and the start of the war also brainwashed to love the war, his rifle and bayonet.

Whereas ‘Glory of Women’ talks how Sassoon experiences war and hates it so much that he wants to fake being hurt and leave the war. But he asks himself what about other people who are suffering in the war; these are the reasons why he writes the poem. But Sassoon never intended other people to read his poems they were only kept for himself. Wilfred Owen writes about the same sort of context but describes the suffering of soldiers. The poem ‘Dulce et Decorum est pro patria mori’ was a very popular slogan it means, ‘it is a good and noble thing to die for your land’.

Recruiting officers would use this slogan to convince soldiers to fight and join, these were untrained soldiers, the army. The poem describes what soldiers go through and experience. This point of view was all from Wilfred Owens point (it is describing what he had been through), which he had hated and from that was traumatised. Wilfred Owen suffered from ‘shell-shock’ this is when you have fought in a war and the aftermath runs up on you, e. g. oss of sight, going through a psychological strain because you have engaged in warfare etc. But in the war days if a soldier said that he was suffering from ‘shell-shock’ it was said to be a lie because they thought only recruiting officers suffer from shell shock. So Owen was sent back in the trenches to fight again. This is when Owen thought he had to express his feelings in some way and so wrote poems- ‘Dulce et Decorum est’ being famous for propaganda.

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