As The Teams Head Brass and Disabled

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I have decided to do the two First World War poems, As The Teams Head Brass by Edward Thomas and comparing it to Disabled by Wilfred Owen. The two poems have similar attitudes to war, although they represent them in different ways. The structure of the two poems is different. Disabled has six stanzas, all of different lengths where as As The Teams Head Brass has only two stanzas the first is short and the second is considerably longer. The rhyme scheme is very different in the two, Disabled has rhyme all the way through, where as there is no obvious rhyme in As The Teams Head Brass.

There is a recurring pattern all the way through Disabled, every other line rhymes for instants, “waiting for dark” and two lines later there is “through the park”. In Disabled there is so much imagery when reading it, it really disturbs you. Lines like ” waiting for dark” and “there was an artist for his silly face”. In As The Teams Head Brass there is not as much imagery, but given the theme of this poem it not really needed. Though at times the writer uses a subtle way that tells us the horror of the war, like where we are told the farmers helper was killed “the very night of the blizzard”

Through out As The Teams Head Brass there is frequent use of poetic devices, for instance in line17, A “minute more” sounding like time is going by and in lines 10 and 11 scraping, share and screwed, The alliteration gives us the mental image of movement. There is also repetition of the word flashed, this is also onomatopoeia. In Disabled there is use of similes, like “voices of boys rang saddening like a hymn”. With the man sat in his wheeled chair listening to this going on outside. There is more use of onomatopoeia.

In line 2 the word shivered, giving us the image of a helpless man shivering in his wheeled chair. The use of vocabulary in the two poems is different. As The Teams Head Brass uses poetic language, giving a dreamy image with lines like ” I sat among the boughs of the fallen elm” This is not the sort of language we would use in every day conversation. Where as in Disabled its language is broad and down to earth, lines like ” now he will spend a few sick years in an institute” and ” do things the rules consider wise” giving the harsh reality of war.

As The Teams Head Brass is all about a man watching a ploughman in a field, sat on a log waiting, knowing that at any moment he could be called up. He’s taking in what’s happening in the environment around. The feeling and thoughts that are going through his head must be terrible, not really knowing the truth of what’s happening out there. He sees two young lovers disappear into the woods, a young man with all his life ahead of him, in love but knows at any moment he could be sent to face the tough war.

In Disabled it gives us the two aspects of before and after the war, a young happy man joining the war thinking it’s going to be fun, and at the end of the poem he is left crippled in a wheeled chair, “Tonight he noticed how the women’s eyes passed from him to the strong men that were the whole” he doesn’t even see him self as a whole man, his good looks gone, no one looks at him twice or wants to go near him “. It’s much more shocking giving a terrible image to the First World War.

Both are great poems but on the whole Disabled is a lot more effective this is why its definitely my favourite of the two, this is due to the fact that reading it sends shivers down your spine. When reading it I genuinely feel sorry for the man and how his life has turned out. This is probably because Disabled is longer and goes into more depth where as As The Teams Head Brass focuses on the point of waiting to be called up, we never find out what happens to the man. It does make you realise that this is what it was like for many people, but this is nowhere as bad as the horror and gore in Disabled.

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