Guest poem sent in by Vijay Victor
(Poem #288) Futility
Move him into the sun-- Gently its touch awoke him once, At home, whispering of fields unsown. Always it awoke 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?
I feel this poem, more specifically, the last five lines epitomises futility. I like the way he evokes contrasting sensations using the images of sun (warmth) and snow (cold). "Cold star" is ultimate! "The kind old sun ... whispering of fields unsown" also "wakes the seeds". Owen seems to be getting us to empathise with the 'benevolent' sun. I can even feel sorry that all his work was of no avail. Further, i feel his description of the creation of man ('clay grew tall') captures the essence of the act far better than any painting i have ever seen.(i'm sure many would beg to disagree here but still). Much more can be said i guess but i requested higher authorities to do that. vijay [Vijay asked me to interject a few comments about the form of the poem - I wasn't intending to, since (as I must reemphasise) this is not about critical analysis of the poems, it's about personal response and appreciation. Still, I couldn't not comment on Owen's use of half-rhymes - especially interesting in the last three lines of each verse, where the middle line is tied in to the surrounding two without the choppy effect that a pure ccc rhyme scheme would have had.  'consonance' if you want a more technical-sounding term, but it's considerably weaker a word m. ]