Modelling the Landscapes of First World War Poetry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter examines the relationship between humans and landscapes through the mediating presence of describing or interpreting the destructive power of war. Douthwaite et al. (2017) argue for a dual focus in stylistic scholarship on both the language used to describe the physical nature of landscapes and the readerly experiences that arise from engaging with texts. This chapter addresses this need by drawing on Cognitive Grammar in conjunction with reader-generated data from online analyses to examine Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Futility’. The analysis examines the specific ways in which the language of the poem and Owen’s modelling of the speaker’s consciousness position readers to imagine the experience of war, to consider the interaction of body and landscape, and to reflect on broader philosophical questions. The analysis of online data equally reveals these concerns, which are presented as authoritative readings of the poem, and which model particular ways of understanding war poetry.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationApplied Cognitive Stylistics
Subtitle of host publication From Ego to Eco
EditorsMalgorzata Drewniok , Marek Kuzniak
Place of PublicationLondon
ISBN (Print)1350362182, 9781350362208
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • First World War poetry
  • Wilfred Owen
  • landscapes
  • ecostylistics
  • Cognitive Grammar
  • reader response


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