Wilfred Owen: Poems

Depictions in popular culture

In print and film

Stephen MacDonald's play Not About Heroes (first performed in 1982) takes as its subject matter the friendship between Owen and Sassoon, and begins with their meeting at Craiglockhart during World War I.[42]

Pat Barker's historical novel Regeneration (1991) also describes the meeting and relationship between Sassoon and Owen,[43] acknowledging that, from Sassoon's perspective, the meeting had a profoundly significant effect on Owen. Owen's treatment with his own doctor, Arthur Brock, is also touched upon briefly. Owen's death is described in the third book of Barker's Regeneration trilogy, The Ghost Road (1995).[44] In the 1997 film Regeneration, Stuart Bunce played Owen.[45]

Owen is the subject of the BBC docudrama Wilfred Owen: A Remembrance Tale (2007), in which he is played by Samuel Barnett.[46]

Owen was mentioned as a source of inspiration for one of the correspondents in the epistolary novel, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (2008), by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.[47]

In music

His poetry has been reworked into various formats. For example, Benjamin Britten incorporated nine of Owen's poems into his War Requiem, along with words from the Latin Mass for the Dead (Missa pro Defunctis). The Requiem was commissioned for the reconsecration of Coventry Cathedral and first performed there on 30 May 1962.[48] Derek Jarman adapted it to the screen in 1988, with the 1963 recording as the soundtrack.[49]

The Ravishing Beauties recorded Owen's poem "Futility" in an April 1982 John Peel session.[50]

Also in 1982, 10,000 Maniacs recorded a song titled "Anthem for Doomed Youth", loosely based on the poem, in Fredonia, New York. The recording appeared on their first EP release Human Conflict Number Five and later on the compilation Hope Chest. Also appearing on the Hope Chest album was the song "The Latin One", a reference to the title of Owen's poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" on which the song is based.

Additionally in 1982, singer Virginia Astley set the poem "Futility" to music she had composed.[51]

In 2010, local Wirral musician Dean Johnson created the musical Bullets and Daffodils, based on music set to Owen's poetry.[52]


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