Has your soul sipped

Has your soul sipped
Has your soul sipped
Has your soul sipped
Of the sweetness of all
Has it well supped
But yet hungers and
I have been witness
Of a strange sweetness,
All fancy surpassing
Past all supposing.
Passing the rays
Of the rubies of morning,
Or the soft rise
Of the moon; or the meaning
Known to the rose
Of her mystery and mourning.
Sweeter than nocturnes
Of the wild nightingale
Or than love's nectar
After life's gall.
Sweeter than odours
Of living leaves,
Sweeter than ardours
Of dying loves.
Sweeter than death
And dreams hereafter
To one in dearth
Or life and its laughter.
Or the proud wound
The victor wears
Or the last end
Of all wars.
Or the sweet murder
After long guard
Unto the martyr
Smiling at God;
To me was that smile,
Faint as a wan, worn myth,
Faint and exceeding small,
On a boy's murdered mouth.
Though from his throat
The life-tide leaps
There was no threat
On his lips.
But with the bitter blood
And the death-smell
All his life's sweetness bled
Into a smile.
Overview of the plot
 This poem was written at Craiglockhart in July-August 1917
 The poem’s focus is the death of a solider who we presume is an enemy, Owen
is comparing this death to the sweet things in life
Even though Owen was a Christian he wanted revenge and vengeance and he
started to draw away from religion
Canterbury’s Archbishop said that you said love your enemies but this was
something that Owen did not agree with
Has a contrast between death and sweetness (Juxtaposition)
Starts of with a negative tone because of sibilance
Has a lot of imagery throughout the poem
Themes and Ideas
“or the sweet murder”
“sweeter than death”
“on a boy’s murdered
“or than love’s nectar”
“of all wars”
“but with the bitter
“ of the wild
“And the death-smell”
“the meaning known
to the rose”
“of living leaves”
“the soft rise of the
Themes and Ideas
“Of life and his
“Sweeter than
“I have been witness,
of a strange
“there was no threat
on his lips”
“ To me was that
“Passing the rays of the
rubies of morning”
“Or the soft rise of the
to the
“ Faint and exceeding
“On a boy’s murdered
Owen’s Techniques
 Alliteration- Soul sipped
 Pararhyme- Of the rubies of morning, of her mystery and mourning
 Sibilance – Has your soul sipped
 Rhetorical Questions- Has it well supped but yet hungers and sweats?
 Juxtaposition-Contrast between this feeling/happiness and death
 Direct address-Has YOUR soul sipped
Private’s Perspective
• From the private’s perspective Owen portrays war to be satisfying and pleasurable
•He talks about this feeling/happiness that is better than everything else
• He does this through imagery shown to the reader at stanza 3-5
•He uses metaphors such as “Known to the rose of her mystery and mourning’’
•I think Owen is trying to suggest to us that war can change people. This is because of the
things people see these thoughts and images can dwell on a person’s mind. To the point
that this thought/image is all they think about and because they think about it so much it
turns into something that they like.
•This point is linked to Owen purpose this pleasure/happiness of war of doing something
again and again when you know you shouldn't because it wrong but you cant help yourself
Reader’s Perspective
From the reader perspective we view war as the complete opposite to the private we don't
find war satisfying but horrible and sad
When the audience reads this poem and they feel disgusted and repulsed we as a reader
want to avoid war at all costs
He uses a rhetorical question at the start of the poem which suggest to the audience that
Owen is confused with his own personal view on war
Own uses sibilance in the title and in the first stanza to set the tone of the poem it makes
the reader feel negatively in the opening stanza
He then uses direct address to address the audience it makes it more personal
Owen also uses pararhyme “all fancy surpassing past all supposing ’’ your vowels change
but the consonants are the same

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