Poetry is often used as a form of expression to portray a poets feeling and message. Owen’s poetry was different to the other types of war poems of his time, as he was courageous enough to make his attacks on the government and present his ideas throughout his two poems ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ and ‘dulce et decorum est’. As a man who once fought in these wars, Owen is able to incorporate his extraordinary experiences into his poetry, to further vividly enhanced the suffering and pity through the use of poetic techniques such as the poem’s structure, symbolism, simile and rhetorical questions.

Owen’s choice to structure the poem ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ as a sonnet creates irony as sonnets are usually affiliated with the theme of love, not the horrors of war. As the readers are introduced to the poem, irony has already been established within the title. The term ‘anthem’ is often associated with peace and patriotism. However, here Owen’s idea of peace contradicts with ‘Doomed Youth’ as it suggests the presence of corruption and decay that war will bring upon these young soldiers; then only be followed with their deaths. The assonance in the elongated ‘oo’ sound of ‘Doomed Youth’ slows down the pace to further reinforce the slow march to death and the negative ‘doomed’ connotations to war. A faster pace is further achieved by the utilisation of alliteration and onomatopoeia in “...stuttering rifles’ rapid rattle”. The combination techniques emphasises the rapid sound of guns firing, allowing readers to apply their aural senses to effectively understand the horrific environment of the battlefield. These key lines in the first stanza reinforces Owen’s focus on the pitiful nature of war and its connection to a human’s dreadful experience.

As a sonnet, the opening line of the octave in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ begins with a rhetorical question to question the lack of humanity in the war through “What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?” Owen’s use of...