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?
Wilfred uses many specific features that amount to his individual poetry which include:
- opening creates a chaotic scene of war with the use of an anonymous character – “him”
- use of nature as disapproval of war with use of religious language “fields unsown” “rouse”
- rhetorical questions are used to draw the reader to his views and opinions on war and it’s consequences “too hard to stir?” “Was it for this the clay grew tall?”
- punctuation is used to emphasis pauses within his statements and emphasis on specific viewpoints “Are limbs, so dear-achieved, are sides….”
- contrast in setting with growing life as a farmer and in the army surrounded by death also extended oxymoron of “cold Star”
Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Futility’ demonstrates his beliefs and faith in the power of the sun and life that has been shattered, he has lost his awe and wonder in mans creation. Themes included in the poem are helplessness that death in war is inevitable, sadness and loss at the loss of all soldiers and the effects of conflict not only on the people that are affected but the economic and financial state of countries and the future stability of countries.