Wilfred Owen

'My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.' Wilfred Edward Salter Owen (1893-1918) was born to Thomas and Susan Owen on the 18th of March 1893 near Oswestry, Shropshire. Upon the death of Owens's grandfather in 1897, the Owen family were forced to move from the house he had owned in Oswestry to lodgings in Birkenhead (1898), Merseyside, and it was in the Birkenhead Institute that Owen's education began. In 1907, when Thomas Owen was appointed Assistant Superintendent for the Western Region of the railways, the family moved to Shrewsbury where Owen's education continued at the Shrewsbury Borough Technical School. Upon leaving school at 18, Owen spent a period of months working as a pupil-teacher at Wyle Cop School. In the autumn he passed the matriculation examination for the University of London but without the first class honours needed to gain a scholarship. Unable to afford to study, he worked as lay assistant to the Vicar of Dunsden near Reading. In his spare time he also attended University College, Reading, and is known to have studied the diverse subjects of botany and poetry. Between 1913 and 1915 Owen travelled to Bordeaux, France, and taught...
Read the essay: Wilfred Owen - biography by Stephanie Fishwick, Stuart Lee
# Title Description Contributor
1 From Owen's Doomed Youth, to his doomed youth

Lecture at the event 'Wilfred Owen: From Doomed Youth to the Battle of the Sambre'....

Jean Moorcroft Wilson
2 The Last Phase

A discussion on the last phase of the First World War. A talk given at 'Wilfred Owen: From...

Max Egremont
3 Anthem for Doomed Youth (readings)

by Owen, Wilfred (1893-1918)

LibriVox volunteers bring you 12 different recordings of...

4 The Life and Times of Wilfred Owen (lecture)

Free public lecture at Gresham College. Available as video, audio and transcript


Peter Bunyan, Chris Cuff
# Title Description Contributor
1 World War I Poetry in England (lecture)

Lecture by Professor Langdon Hammer given as part of Open Yale courses, 'engl 310: Modern Poetry...

Langdon Hammer
# Title Description Author
1 Collected Poems

ebook version of Collected Poems

Owen, Wilfred, 1893-1918
# Essay Title Description Contributor
1 The Art of Mourning in First World War Poetry

The poetry written during the First World War was often created as an elegiac response to the...

Charlotte Barrett
2 First World War

The Great War (also known as World War One, and the First World War) was a global combat centred...

Charlotte Barrett
3 Wilfred Owen - biography

'My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.'

Stephanie Fishwick, Stuart Lee
4 Reliving Wilfred Owen's 'Exposure' in Louis Simpson's World War II Poem 'The Battle'

Wilfred Owen’s legacy is often characterized by hallmarks such as his use of pararhyme or half-...

Michael Sarnowski
5 Wilfred Owen and the Modern Elegy

Owen's elegies are characterised by his scepticism of the genre's consolatory power. Such...

Emma Suret
6 "Smile, Smile, Smile": Wilfred Owen and the Politicians

Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag
And smile, smile, smile...

Douglas Kerr
7 SHEER: Setting Wilfred Owen to Music

"I can find no word to qualify my experiences except the word SHEER... It passed the...

Tim Watts
8 Postcard from the Front Lines of Teaching "Dulce et Decorum Est"

Wilfred Owen is the most famous of the World War One soldier-poets, and "Dulce et Decorum Est"...

Eleanor Mary Boudreau
9 At the Water’s Edge: Wilfred Owen and Water

By the look of the photograph reproduced in Jon Stallworthy's biography, it was a fairly run-of-...

Gerald Dawe
10 Wilfred Owen and the Culture of Commemoration

We can approach the First World War from the perspective of the historian, with a view to...

Eva Zettelmann
11 Dulce et Decorum Est: Wilfred Owen’s Latin

Wilfred Owen fought hard to learn Latin. He was acutely aware of the importance of the classical...

Elizabeth Vandiver
12 Wilfred Owen: The '60s Poet

With the centenary of the first Armistice Day - and the centenary of Wilfred Owen's death a week...

Harry Ricketts
13 4-11 November 1918: Wilfred Owen and armistice Day in Memory and History

In an early preface to his collected war poems, Wilfred Owen wrote of his work that "The subject...

Alex Nordlund
14 "The Poetry is in the Pity": Wilfred Owen and the Memory of the First World War

A memorial to the poets of the First World War stands in the corner of Westminster Abbey....

Vincent Trott
15 Owen's influence on Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy's poem "An Unseen" depicts a soldier going off to war, but we don't know which...

Marcy Tanter
16 Wilfred Owen: Resonances

Owen's enduring legacy comes in a variety of shapes and forms, from Benjamin Britten's War...

Brigitte Friant-Kessler
17 An Introduction to Teaching Wilfred Owen

Wilfred Owen has always been one of my favourite writers to teach, because his poetry is like a...

Lucy Freeland
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 Wilfred Owen plate from Poems (1920)

This is a plate from Wilfred Owen's 1920 Poems by Wilfred Owen, showing the author. The original...

2 Wilfred Owen Grave

Wilfred Owen - the grave in Ors communal cemetery

3 Le masque forestier

By Mathilde Blondeel Colour pencils, 2018, 42 x 29.7 cm based on vegetal material collected...

Mathilde Blondeel
4 Kouni gnani yli yégé

By Nadia Ogou Batik, serigraphy and installation, 2018, 225 x 125 cm
The artist's...

Nadia Ogou
5 Portraits of Wilfred Owen

By Félicia Laude Acrylic paint and ink on dyed linen, 2018, 150 x 230 cm.

Félicia Laude
# Resource Title Description Contributor
1 Wilfred Owen : the man and his poems

A short biography of Wilfred Owen, explaining the context in which his poetry was written.

Fleur Corfield
2 Writing about poetry

This learning object suggests an approach to understanding poetry and to give a framework to...

Fleur Corfield
3 Language menu

Glossary of terms used in literature with examples from the poetry of Wilfred Owen. Includes...

Fleur Corfield
4 Dulce Et Decorum Est - Wilfred Owen - Muvizu 3D Animation war poem ...
5 Beyond the slaughter and loss of the First World War (conversation)

Was there more to the First World War than just death and slaughter? This is a transcript of an...

6 Under a green sea – experiences of gas warfare (3D simulation)

This 3D simulation introduces you to the experiences of gas warfare in the trenches through...

7 First World War timeline (interactive)

This interactive timeline, created as part of the First World War Poetry Digital Archive...

8 Ivor Gurney, Isaac Rosenberg, Wilfred Owen

Blog post by Professor Tim Kendall and discussion. From the War Poetry blog.

Tim Kendall
9 Wilfred Owen: 'Futility'

Blog post + discussion about the Owen's poem 'Futility'. By Professor Tim Kendall on the War...

Tim Kendall
10 Teaching materials by Lucy Freeland

A sample of teaching material used with a class of Yr 9 students studying First World War poetry...

Lucy Freeland