Futility

Do some research on Wilfred Owen and takes notes of five important facts as regards him, war and poetry.

Futility BY WILFRED OWEN

Move him into the sun—

Gently its touch awoke him once,

At home, whispering of fields half-sown.

Always it woke him, even in France,

Until this morning and this snow.

If anything might rouse him now

The kind old sun will know.

Think how it wakes the seeds—

Woke once the clays of a cold star.

Are limbs, so dear achieved, are sides

Full-nerved, still warm, too hard to stir?

Was it for this the clay grew tall?

—O what made fatuous sunbeams toil

To break earth’s sleep at all?

Listen to the poem

‘Futility’ takes the form of a short elegy. An elegy, or an elegiac poem, was a form of writing that had its first depiction in the 16th century, and was considered to be a lament – a crying out for the loss of a beloved and was used primarily in the romantic sense.

Could this be a soldier speaking to his comrades? A soldier attempting to wake their fallen friend.? And as the title suggests, this attempt is futile?

In classroom, you will find a video explaining the poem so you can annotate it.

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