Watching, we hear the mad gusts tugging on the wire,
Like twitching agonies of men among its brambles.
This quote gives the soldiers the painful reminder that men have been killed easily by the barbed wire, and natures way of portraying barbed wire, is through brambles.
The brambles symbolise pain, because brambles are obviously painful. This gives the reader a knowledge of what the soldiers are thinking of. Also this shows that by getting caught in the wire, that they are being held back from fighting, and this gives the soldiers a feeling that they have lost the war.
Another thing that nature portrays is love and protection. Not all nature was used to portray pain. In Spring offensive, he uses several terms to portray love and protection;
And though the summer oozed into their veins
Like an injected drug for their bodies pains,
This quote shows that that nature can be used to benefit the soldiers, by giving them strength to go on and fight. Nature can also benefit the soldiers, by giving them camouflage, and to protect them from harm, so that the German soldiers cannot see them.
Another method that Owen uses to portray his feelings using nature, is the weather, in which he shows mood and feelings, cold weather representing hurt and pain. He uses cold weather a lot in Exposure;
We only know war lasts, rain soaks, and clouds sag.
This quote shows that the soldiers are waiting for attack and that there waiting will be long, but their fighting will be longer. They are saying that this is inevitable, like rain does soak, and clouds do sag.
Tonight, this frost will fasten on this mud and us,
¦and their eyes are ice,
But nothing happens.
This quote proves that war is long and frustrating. This is saying that they have waited so long that the frost from the cold had killed them, not the war. This is a strong symbol, that nature is stronger and more powerful than war. I think this is one of the main reasons that Owen uses nature to portray his feelings, because it often has a stronger impact on the readers.
Till like a cold gust thrills the world
At which each body and its soul begird
And tighten them for battle. No alarms.
This quote has a tense feel about it because the cold wind represents harsh reality that they have to face, which is not what they have been told it was. This would make them uncomfortable, tense and nervous. I think that he uses this to deter men from going to war, because he was anti-war, and the men were being told thaat it was a walk in the park, all a big game. Owen wanted to tell the men about what war was really like.
Aswell as cold weather, warm weather is used a lot in spring offensive, to show peace, strength and protection;
The sun, like a friend whom their love is done.
Oh larger shone that smile against the sun.
Mightier than his whose bounty these have spurned.
This quote shows that the soldiers get strength from the sun. As the sun comes up, they can feel the warmth, and see the light, which tells them that they are still alive. It gives them hope, because it its a conformation of there existence. Also is says that the sun is mightier than god, refered to as his. I think that this means that they would rather feel the suns warmth then die for their country.
I think that the main reason that Owen uses nature to portray his feelings because it is an easy way of expressing deep emotions and feelings about a thing you feel strongly against a subject, eg: war. Owens expressions are strong, in the sense that they get his point across, and they are emotionally thought provoking, in the sense where they make you think about what is must feel like to serve, sometimes, against your will in something as horrific as a world war. I think that using nature to portray feelings and emotions, thoughts and views in poems is a very effective way.