Anthem for Doomed Youth
What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?- Rhetorical question
Only the monstrous anger of the guns.- Personification & metaphor
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle- Alliteration, simile & personification
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, --
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;- Personification & metaphor
And bugles calling for them from sad shires- Personification & metaphor
What candles may be held to speed them all?- Rhetorical question
Not in the hands of boys but in their eyes- Metaphor
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their [pall;]– pall: a cloth placed on a coffin
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
'Anthem for Doomed Youth', is a poem about the waste of many young men in the First World War. The word ‘anthem’ in the title, unlike a national anthem that glorifies a country, has a lot of irony, because there is just the opposite of glory in the absurd death of the young people shooting each other for noting. Wilfred Owen uses rhetorical questions and personification all throughout this poem to give of the reality of being stuck at war fighting for a soon to be glorifide country.