The poem Dulce et Decorum est is a shocking poem that is written from the view of a soldier in WW1, dealing with dangerous but everyday scenarios. I believe that what is written in the poem was common throughout many soldiers lives, and from my understanding, may have been weekly, if not daily. I get this impression through the single word “Ecstasy,” or the sentence “An ecstasy of fumbling…” This is because the word ecstasy, is often associated with something experienced often, or familiar. For example, the familiar ecstasy of chocolate, melting in the mouth. I know its a long stretched example, however the same principals apply. Because they have experienced this so often, it triggers a reaction from them, that is all too familiar.
Another example of language having this sort of detail within the story is the word dreams, which is seem twice within this poem. First seen in “In all my dreams before my helpless sight…” and then again in “If in some smothering dreams.” These examples lead me to believe that the experiences that the author of the poem went through are so horrifying that the are repeating in his dreams. He may have purposefully used the word dreams rather than nightmares in order to lighten the impact, or maybe even increase its shock factor.
My last example for language used is the word drowning. I believe there is a significance to this word, as it is not commonly associated with gas, or what we would normally call the effect, choking. I believe the word drowning gives us an idea of how smothering and thick the gas was, there is no way to swim out of it, and the only way to survive it is with a gas mask or gas helmet. Instead of using the word choking, he used a more detailed example of how the people really died.