Wilfred Owen (Author of The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen)
Wilfred Owen Biography
Wilfred Owen - biography
Search more than 3, biographies of contemporary and classic poets. After the death of his grandfather in , the family moved to Birkenhead, where Owen was educated at the Birkenhead Institute. After another move in , he continued his studies at the technical school in Shrewsbury. Interested in the arts at a young age, Owen began writing poetry as a teenager. In Owen matriculated at London University, but after failing to receive a scholarship, he spent a year as a lay assistant to a vicar in Oxfordshire. Laurent Tailhade. He returned from France in and enlisted in the Artists Rifles.
Wilfred Owen, who wrote some of the best British poetry on World War I, composed nearly all of his poems in slightly over a year, from August to September In November he was killed in action at the age of 25, one week before the Armistice. Only five poems were published in his lifetime—three in the Nation and two that appeared anonymously in the Hydra , a journal he edited in when he was a patient at Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh. Shortly after his death, seven more of his poems appeared in the volume of Edith Sitwell 's annual anthology, Wheels : a volume dedicated to his memory, and in and seven other poems appeared in periodicals. Owen wrote vivid and terrifying poems about modern warfare, depicting graphic scenes with honest emotions; in doing so, young Owen helped to advance poetry into the Modernist era.
Upon the death of Owens's grandfather in , the Owen family were forced to move from the house he had owned in Oswestry to lodgings in Birkenhead , Merseyside, and it was in the Birkenhead Institute that Owen's education began. Upon leaving school at 18, Owen spent a period of months working as a pupil-teacher at Wyle Cop School. In the autumn he passed the matriculation examination for the University of London but without the first class honours needed to gain a scholarship. Unable to afford to study, he worked as lay assistant to the Vicar of Dunsden near Reading. In his spare time he also attended University College, Reading, and is known to have studied the diverse subjects of botany and poetry. He was actually tutoring in the Pyrenees when war was declared. Increasingly aware of the scale of the War, Owen returned to England in autumn and enlisted in the Artists' Rifles.
Wilfred Owen - who was born in Oswestry on the Welsh borders, and brought up in Birkenhead and Shrewsbury - is widely recognised as one of the greatest voices of the First World War. At the time of his death he was virtually unknown - only four of his poems were published during his lifetime - but he had always been determined to be a poet, and had experimented with verse from an early age. In Owen enlisted in the British Army. His first experiences of active service at Serre and St. Quentin in January-April led to shell-shock and his return to Britain. Whilst he was undergoing treatment at the Craiglockhart War Hospital in Edinburgh, he met one of his literary heroes, Siegfried Sassoon, who provided him with guidance, and encouragement to bring his war experiences into his poetry.
Born into a middle-class family in near Oswestry, Shropshire, Owen was the eldest of three. His father, Tom Owen, was a railway clerk and his mother, Susan, was from a fervently religious family. In , Owen enlisted in the army and in December was sent to France, joining the 2nd Manchester Regiment on the Somme. Within two weeks of his arrival he was commanding a platoon on the front line. In the midst of heavy gunfire, he waded for miles through trenches two feet deep in water with the constant threat of gas attacks. The brutal reality of war had a profound effect on him, as he recounted in letters to his mother.