Both poems explore the theme of loss in order to portray the wastefulness of war through the use of: repetition, imagery and emphasis.In ‘Refugee Blues’, Auden uses repetition when it says,’We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there’. The repetition makes it more touching as it emphasises their problem of not being able to leave their country as they lack passports which is later shown when it is said ‘Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that’ leaving them homeless. ‘Disabled’ contains imagery which amplifies the theme of loss such as, ‘he will never feel again how slim girls’ waists are’ and ‘he noticed how the women’s eyes passed from him to the strong men that were whole’ making the war veteran isolated. An example of emphasis in ‘Refugee Blues’ is when it states ‘Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors…not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours’ a hyperbole is used to illustrate their situation creating sympathy for the reader. Owen alternates between using vulnerable language such as, ‘his back will never brace’, when he refers to the present in order to show that he is now weak and defenceless. The juxtaposition of remembrance and the masculine language when he refers to the past such as, ‘he’d look a god in kilts’, abruptly makes the reader realise that he is lost and can never be the man he once was. All of these examples coincide together in the way that they all scrutinize the subject: wastefulness of war.


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