Music and on My Songs Comparitive

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Music and On My Songs Wilfred Owen in his two poems, ‘Music’ and ‘On My Songs’, discusses about how music, literally or figuratively, is able to allow people to escape from the harshness of reality. In ‘Music’, Owen describes music literally and how there is no better cure to depression than music. On the other hand, in ‘On My Songs’, he represents music as language and creates many correlations between them, conveying that music and language have the same effect on him where they relieve his pain. One’s personal feelings can be expressed through either language or music. This can be seen in the poem ‘Music’ where in particular, Owen’s use of pathetic fallacy reveals to us the narrators true feelings. Therefore we are able to see that one’s emotional state of mind is projected onto his perception of his surroundings rendering music, which is an entirely subjective and state-dependent phenomenon. Accordingly, we can see this through the metaphor, “Drunk their mellow sorrows to the slake”, that alcohol is like music as it is also very state-dependent. The assonance of long and soft sounds in “mellow sorrows” may be suggesting that these soothe his pain, however could also prolong his pain as well. Owen conveys the idea that by using music and alcohol to relieve your pain is an outdated method, which we can see through the archaic diction “slake”. Although this is true, by informing us that the narrator’s “heart has beaten”, the past tense shows us that music can no longer have this effect on him which links to Owen’s use of archaic words. At the same time, in the poem ‘On My Songs’, Owen depicts the narrator relieving his pain by reading the language of other poets. Immediately the capitalization of “ unseen Poets” conveys that he is showing respect towards the people who were influential enough to reach new generations even though they were never seen.
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