by Wilfred Owen
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
- Rupert Brooke
In "The Soldier" (1914) by Rupert Brooke, a young English soldier reveals his dying wish - to be remembered and honored. Rupert Brooke's poetry is a reflection of the mood in England leading up to WWI.Pair “Anthem for Doomed Youth” with “The Soldier” and ask students to compare the themes and forms of the two pieces. Does the form of the sonnet have the same effect on the way each poem reads? How does the perspective on war expressed in the latter text differ from that of the former?
The War Works Hard
- Dunya Mikhail
Born and raised in Iraq, Dunya Mikhail (1965—) has written much about the wars she lived through in her home country, until she was forced to flee the country in 1996 after threats and harrassment from the government. This satirical poem praises the diligence of war and its effects, from "provid[ing] food for flies" to "invigorat[ing] the coffin makers."Pair “Anthem for Doomed Youth” with “The War Works Hard” and ask students to consider how the latter poem, written by a poet who was born and raised in Iraq, expresses an opinion about the question of war. What literary techniques does Mikhail use to advance her perspective? Are they comparable to those employed by Owen? How does war impact soldiers and civilians alike?
Behind Bars, Vets With PTSD Face A New War Zone, With Little Support
- Quil Lawrence
This article explores the ordeals faced by combat veterans, exemplified by the experiences of David Carlson, an Iraq veteran with PTSD and legal troubles.Pair “Behind Bars, Vets With PTSD Face A New War Zone, With Little Support” with “Anthem for Doomed Youth” and ask students to think about how the latter piece builds upon and adds depth to the former. Are Carlson’s difficulties as a veteran common? Does war disproportionately harm young people? When veterans return home, they often face difficulty securing employment opportunities, housing, and maintaining access to other necessary services, such as rehabilitation. Do you think civilians appropriately recognize such issues, which may not be as dramatic or compelling as the loss of life during war? Whose responsibility is it to bring attention to these issues and work to solve them?
The Death of a Soldier
- Wallace Stevens
In Wallace Stevens’s poem “The Death of a Soldier,” a soldier’s life and death is compared to autumn.Pair “Anthem for Doomed Youth” with “The Death of a Soldier” and ask student to compare both poets’ views on the death of soldiers at war. How do they portray their opinions to readers?
- Fred D'Aguiar
In Fred D’Aguiar’s poem, “Boy Soldier,” a speaker describes a young soldier at war.Pair “Anthem for Doomed Youth” with “Boy Soldier” and ask students to discuss the soldiers that die in war. How does Wilfred Owen suggest that the soldiers sent to war were young? How does each poem stress how common it is for soldiers to die in war? Do students think that young soldiers are more likely to die than older soldiers? Why or why not?