Archive | August 2016

Peer Review #2

Peer Review – Annabelle Barns-Lischa

“Your letter for Owen is quite analytical yet also simple and to the point. And it’s a point that needs to be remembered today considering the increasing bouts of violence in the world today. War isn’t going to accomplish anything but needless deaths where people will be forgotten, and the ones who do remember them grieving.

It’s also lovely how the picture you picked had to do with the poem – it really hammers home the point that it doesn’t matter if someone is acknowledged as a hero in war – what about the million others that were not, and will not, be remembered? Plus, the inclusion of the candles is a good allegory for a person. A candle’s flame easily goes out: which matches that a person’s life can just as easily be taken away.”

W4 Anthem for a Doomed Youth



Last week in the tutorial, we were looking at two really different poems.  Rupert Brooke’s “The Soldier” and Wilfred Owen’s “Anthem of Doomed Youth“.  A question that resonated with me during the tutorial last week was the following:

Which of the two poems is more meaningful?

Both poems talk about the subject of war, yet in tone, they are very different.  Brooke’s poem is grandiose.  It is proud and patriotic to the persona’s mother country of England.  The constant repetition of the country’s name being uttered highlights that.  Meanwhile, in Owen’s poem, it is poignant, grim and serious.  Yet there is also harsher sounding language involved from the alliteration of “rifles’ rapid rattle”.

Despite both poems sharing the same subject, being that of war, they are of different strands.  Brooke’s poem is about representing one’s country proudly and wanting to die a valiant death for their country.  On the other hand, Owen talks about the dark reality of war.  His poem reminded me of a point that was made during the lecture.

Though war has its “heroes”, what about the people who weren’t remembered? What do their deaths amount to?

By that logic, that would mean that Brooke’s poem is delusional romanticism.  That would then result with Owens’ poem being more meaningful.  Is that correct? Well, not necessarily.

One also has to consider the time and place that these poems were set in.  And Brooke’s poem was set in the time that WWI would have emerged.  During then, the Futuristic movement reared its head.  Futurism in art was the movement that celebrated the development and creation of dynamism, the machine, and modern technology – from tanks and automobiles to guns.  It encouraged violence and war as evidence by Point 9 of the Futurist Manifesto:

9. We want to glorify war — the only hygiene of the world —
militarism, patriotism, the anarchist’s destructive gesture, the fine Ideas that kill, and the scorn of woman.
(An English reading of the Futurist Manifesto can be found here.)

In general, war was romanticized to encourage young men to become soldiers.  So, during that time, Brooke’s poem could be seen as being more meaningful.

So then, what is the answer to the question of which poem is more meaningful? Simple: it just boils down to what kind of perspective we’re looking through.  Brooke’s poem would be more meaningful if we were looking through a historical perspective, or through the eyes of a young soldier back in the day.  Whereas Owen’s poem is more meaningful if we looked through the perspective of today.

Peer Review #1

Peer Review – Suzanne Solaiman

“Guernica by Picasso is my favourite work from him mainly due to how the “silly” Cubism style actually enhances the chaos, fear and frenzy with the multiple shapes, and exaggerated expressions.

I really love how you pointed out that people would think movements of the 20th century may have appeared “silly” – especially with movements like Cubism due to the uncanny shapes and style. However, every art movement would inspire and influence others, and Cubism is definitely no exception. Cubism actually gave movements like Dadaism and Surrealism inspiration due to how its views of art and objects changed from the norm. Hence, it created a bit of a path for artists to stop viewing art in a certain way and go really out of the box.”

Blog 1 – Importance of Literature in the 20th Century

An Artist’s Aim

To “….compel men entranced by the sight of distant goals to glance for a moment at the surrounding vision of form and colour, of sunshine and shadows; to make them pause for a look , for a sigh, for a smile…”

(Water Lillies and Japanese Bridge, Claude Monet, 1897-1899)

When it comes to art, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a painting, piece of literature or even music – its purpose and existence is quite varied.  Some, like myself, create art as a means of self-expression; for others, it’s more for business; then you have those who use it to bring to light today’s problems whether the artist is being honest, or purposely twisting it to propaganda.

The above quote from Hopkins’ God’s Grandeur produces a goal where one should stop, notice their surroundings, and appreciate them for its natural beauty.  Too many times, people are so wrapped up with problems, whether it be society’s or their own, that the quote from Hopkins’ poem is trying to make you breathe.

To just stop from what you’re doing, take a step back, take a deep breath, and relax with what’s around you.

Thus, I do agree that the quote does highlight a noble aim for an artist.