Owen and Siegfried Sassoon had been invalided to Craiglockhart in summer
and autumn 1917. Owen had already made tentative efforts at rather conventional
verse-making with conventional subjects. Sassoon was a published poet and
a brash critic of the War. Indeed, his confinement in Craiglockhart was a
convenient means of dismissing his protests as the result of a nervous breakdown.
The alternative, as was stressed by his friend Robert
Graves, might have been a firing squad. Sassoon encouraged Owen to write
about the War itself and persuaded him that poetry could be made out of his
own horrific experiences. Owen wrote prolifically during his period at Craiglockhart
and immediately afterwards a poetry that has coloured the perception of war
for each succeeding generation and been reflected in a diversity of media.
Cure at Craiglockhart entailed fitness to return to active duty; Owen was
discharged in November 1917 and killed in action one year later.