Wilfred Owens poem Spring Offensive explores the unnatural offensive of war against spring or nature. Opening with Halted against the shade of the last hill Owen suggests both the calmness of the shade and the deadly implication of last.
Written in a conversational tone, Spring Offensive illustrates the physical horrors that the men experienced in war as they leapt to swift unseen bullets . Or plunged and fell away past the world verge. The oxymoron in stanza 7 superhuman inhumanities implies that in war the hero and devil are one and the same. Yet although Owen gives us an insight into such horrors he does much more in his questioning of God and his imagery of nature in projecting the feelings of men at war.
Owens poem offers so much more to the reader than just insight into the horrors of war. The death of a soldier in this poem is just a starting point to Owens universal questioning of the pointlessness of war and humanity in general. Owen in this condensed poem does not use visual images of horror. He conjures feelings within the reader that are more horrific.
The significance of Spring Offensive once thought out properly comes out loud and clear. This poem can relate to anyone who has questioned the meaning of life or death. Owens poetry questions so much more than the visual atrocities which enable his poems to be relevant today. It is a beautifully written poem, one that will surely live on throughout the ages.