The word remains a challenge to the transparency and realism of the poem, and to critical interpretation. All went lame; all blind; Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots Of tired, out-stripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Stanza 4 This stanza elaborates the suffering of the stricken soldier. In the second sonnet, he becomes analytic with a clear stand. Sick in what sense? Another aspect again marks Stanza 4. In the second part, there is detachment as though the poet is standing back and viewing the events unfolding without being involved in the action.
Whatever you think a devil looks like, this is one that has gone beyond the pale. They are wearied to the bone and desensitized to all but their march.
Such characterisation makes the poem a distinct anti-war poem of all time. Owen was awarded the Military Cross for his courage and leadership in the Joncourt action.
Quick, boys! It was written in while Owen was at Craiglockhart, revised while he was at either Ripon or Scarborough inand published posthumously in Once optimistic, healthy soldiers have now been reduced to a miserable, exhausted gang who have little left to give.