Modernism emerged with its insistent breaks with the immediate past, its different inventions, 'making it new' with elements from cultures remote in time and space.  The questions of impersonality and objectivity seem to be crucial to Modernist poetry. Modernism developed out of a tradition of lyrical expression, emphasising the personal imagination, culture, emotions and memories of the poet. For the modernists, it was essential to move away from the merely personal towards an intellectual statement that poetry could make about the world. Even when they reverted to the personal, like T. S. Eliot in the Four Quartets and Ezra Pound in The Cantos , they distilled the personal into a poetic texture that claimed universal human significance. Herbert Read said of it, "The modern poet has no essential alliance with regular schemes of any sorts. He/She reserves the right to adapt his/her rhythm to his/her mood, to modulate his/her metre as he progresses. Far from seeking freedom and irresponsibility (implied by the unfortunate term free verse ) he/she seeks a stricter discipline of exact concord of thought and feeling." 
No doubt drawing from personal experience, Owen is very sympathetic to the ways in which soldiers attempted to make sense of their peculiar and terrible situation on the front and back at home. He understands that many want to deaden and dull themselves to their thoughts and feelings in order to stave off the anguish over what they have done and seen. They are drained of vitality, able to laugh in the face of death. Owen wrestles with his thoughts on this, for while he understands this psychological response, he does not necessarily think excising all emotion is good, for it severs one's connection to humanity. A man must still be part of the fabric of life, no matter how difficult it may be.