Wilfred Owen

Poet Wilfred Owen

Full Name: Wilfred Edward Salter Owen
Profession: Poet


Biography: One of the greatest poets of the First World War, Wilfred Owen tragically died, aged 25, one week before the armistice was signed in 1918 ending the war. Most of his poets were written in just over a year between 1917 and 1918, with just five published during his lifetime. Yet it is his poems with their innovative rhyming and honest descriptions that most sums up the brutality of war in the trenches on the Western Front. Owen work stands in stark contrast to the patriotic, stirring poetry of other poets of the time such as Rupert Brooke.

His most famous poems include "Dulce et Decorum Est", a description of a fellow soldier dying as the result of a gas attack and the sonnet "Anthem for Doomed Youth". Owen's collected poets were edited and published in 1920 by Siegfried Sassoon, whom he had met while convalescing in hospital in 1917. The volume became a bestseller.

Born: March 18, 1893
Birthplace: Oswestry, Shropshire, England, United Kingdom

Generation: Lost Generation
Star Sign: Pisces

Died: November 4, 1918 (aged 25)
Cause of Death: Killed in action while organizing soldiers during a canal crossing at Ors in northern France, exactly one week before the signing of the Armistice.

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Historical Events

  • 1917-08-15 Poets Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon first met at Craiglockhart War Hospital, Edinburgh, go on to have an profound influence on each other's work (actual date 15-19 Aug)
  • 1962-05-30 Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" incorporating the poems of Wilfred Owen premieres, marking the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral

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