Upgrade to remove ads
War Anthology- Poetry summaries
Terms in this set (96)
On the idle hill of summer
- pastoral disrupted by war
- duty to enlist
- futility but still go
"the world as it use to be"
- futility, cyclical nature of war
-religion (loss of hope and faith)
[April 1914, before the war]
On receiving the First News of the War
-death is downplayed
- cowardice/ masculinity "sick hearts that honour could not move and half-men"
-war is cleansing, baptism "swimmers into cleanness leaping"
Happy is England Now
-recognition of loss and grief "endure the pain that never the new years may cure" however patriotism helps you people endure this
-no regular structure/ rhyme- Solomon mood not typical of recruitment poetry
This is no case of petty Right or Wrong
-exploring own motivation to fight
- written after blazing row with his father who was a conventional patriot who demonised the Germans
- The poem is truly patriotic, and is an interesting contrast with the patriotic war poems of Rupert Brooke.
- regular end rhyme
-evoke a sense of guilt in those who have yet to enlist
-realism, not persuasive but not anti-war either
-ballad, regular rhyme to mimic vulgar songs
"lads your wanted. Come and die"
-sacrifice (Christ allusion)
"the nail marks flowing in his feet and hands"
-dead are safe with God in the afterlife"
Now that you too must shortly go the way
-romanticism of death and bullets
-subversion of eros
-antiphrasis (kiss associated with bullet)
Arms and the boy
-Owen March 1918
-personification of bayonet
-sensual/ erotic "stroke"
-contrast between weapon and innocence of the boy who is turned into killing machine
"keen with hunger of blood"
"long to muzzle in the hearts of lads"
Sonnets 1917: Servitude
-state of being a slave
- housework in macabre setting "sweep and wash the floor" (gender role reversal)
-comradeship "only the love of comrades sweetens all"
The Last Post
"O spare the phantom bugle as i lie"
"Jolly young Fusiliers too good to die"
doesn't want death to be romanticised
Youth in Arms II: Solider
- Glorification of death
- optimism, nativity of the early war
"thought! thought go back into your kennel again"
"you will fall in field like a flower without pain"
The Send Off
-sacrifice "a few, a few, too few... may creep back, silent"
First Time In
"after the dread tales... anything might have come to use; but the divine afterglow brought us to a Welsh colony"
Break of day in the Trenches
"queer sardonic rat"
"inwardly grin as you pass strong eyes, fine limbs, haughty athletes less chanced than you for life"
-sardonic humour, subverts pastoral
-sun as the giver of life but fails to wake this solider
"o what made fatuous sunbeams toil to break earth's sleep at all?"
"iced east winds that knife us"
"but nothing happens"- repeated refrain
- soldiers returning home as "the doors are closed"
The Silent One
"Do you think you might crawl through, there; there's a hole?"
"I'm afraid not, Sir... nothing but a chance of death"
-slaughter, sarcasm at the orders they are told to do
-pathetic fallacy, suffering (assonance)
-"peaceful folk in beds lay snug asleep"
Returning, we hear the larks
-symbolises freedom, joy, singing
battle not just against the Germans
"hunt the verminous brood"
Vlamertinghe: Passing the Chateau, July, 1917
"but if you ask me, mate, the choice of colour is scarcely right; this red should have been duller"
-Glorification of death
Dead Cow Farm
"the old cow's dead"- traditional values, religion, hope gone
-what once brought the miracle of life now brings death
-comradeship "shoulder to aching shoulder, side by side"
-loss, grief, survives guilt
-futility of protest
"love drives me back to grope with them through hell"
Apologia pro Poemate meo
-gulf between home front and front line
"except you share with them in hell..."
"you are not worth their merriment"
Comradeship and love
-"i cannot tell what time your life became mine"
eros vs. phillia and sacrifice of comrades
-elements of patriotism however also graphic imagery
In Memoriam Private D. Sutherland
-censorship (gulf between the home front and the front line)
-family vs. comradeship
-powerless to help
"i was his officer. You were only David's father"
To His Love
-romanticism of death
"hide that red wet thing i must somehow forget"- good link to MBJ (rudyard)
"make me a soldier, Lord", "make me a man", "help me to die"
"sunsets spill their fresh and sanguine sacrifice"
I have a rendenzvous with death
-reality of death rather than idealisation and romanticism
"God knows 'twere better to be deep pillowed in silk and scented down"
"But i've got a rendezvous with death at mindnight in some flaming town"
1914: The Soldier
-romanticism of death
-idealism, patriotism, pastoral- Georgian
-remembrance (not to mourn)
-He will have left a monument in England in a foreign land, figuratively transforming a foreign soil to England
- The suggestion that English "dust" must be "richer" = empire
Ballad of the Three Spectres
"he'll stay untouched till the war's last dawning then live one hour of agony"
-death, fates are unknown
-bravery "cold fear possessed me all"
-"not as a coward be known"
Anthem for Doomed Youth
lack of memorialisation
"what passing bells for those who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns"
"he sank and drwoed bleeding to death. The counter-attack had failed"
"lost in a blurred confusion of yells and groans"
Back to Rest
"we have seen the strongest cry like a beaten child"
"the cleanest hands defiled"
"we have seen men broken
Ducle et Decoum est
- critique of early war attitude
quotation from Hoace "it is sweet and Honorable to die for ones country"
"slow sobbing of a women"
-suffering is "nothing" in comparison to the horrors experienced by the men in the war
-imitates the Lord's prayer "who shall deliver us from the memory of these dead?"
Dead Man's Dump
- equality or "kinship" (brotherhood) in death on the battlefield "they lie there huddled, friend and foeman"
-"the wheels lurched over sprawled dead"
-"a man's brains splattered"
"the drowning soul was sunk to deep"
"when the swift iron burning bee drained the wild honey of their youth"
Youth in Arms IV: Carrion
"if you are not found, in a little while your limbs will fall apart; the birds will take some" (dehumanised)
- Carrion= the decaying flesh of dead animals
"i was wrong, quite wrong; the dead men are not always carrion"
"more beautiful that one can tell"
-painting references, beauty
-romanticism of death
Butchers and Tombs
"after so much battering of fire and steel. It had seemed well to cover them with Cotswold stone"
"the the time's hurry"
-glorification of death
-"he lies content with that high hour in which he lived and died"
-Henry V reference
-"city grey... days would drift away"
-written 1912, published 1915 (first phase of consciousness)
In Flanders Fields
-guilt evoked to recruit- conditional "if"
"take up our quarrel with the foe: to you from failing hands we throw the torch"
-pastoral imagery (poppies and lark)
-written from first person perspective of the dead
1914: The Dead
Glorification of death
"poured out the red sweet wine of youth"- euphemism
When you see millions of the mouthless dead
"say not soft things as other men have said"
"give them not praise"
"nor honour. It's easy to be dead"
"none wears the face you knew"
"the shameless soul of a nameless man went up in the cordite-smoke"
"having shed blood, know heart for her"
"but mud is our fate, after so long acquatance"
-Defence of the Relm act
"strong, sensible and fit, they're out to show their grit"
"no longer caged and penned up... till the khaki soldier boys come marching back"
"it isn't only actual war that's hell, its spending youth and hope alone"
-link to women
The survivor comes home
-no comfort in the aftermath
solace in nature "run weasel, cry bird for me, comfort my ears, soothe my eyes!"
"am i alive and the rest Dead, all dead? sweet friends"
"night never ends"
-grief, nightmares, comradeship, duty
"when i'm asleep, dreaming and lulled and warm,- they come"
"bitter safety"- oxymoron
"i think of the Battalion in the mud"
"are they not still your brothers through our blood?"
Not to keep
-gender (receiving letters)
-censorship, not talking/ saying reality to the home front
-"nothing but what good care and medicine and rest, and you a week, can cure me of to go again"
-cyclical "second trial"
"with his eyes he asked her not to ask"
"i'd like to see a tank come down the stalls"
"grin, cackle, prancing, shrill, drunk"
-anger at home front (written in 1918)
-written by a female
-ignorance of the home front
-"for Christ's sake think! While you sew row after row"
- battle between idealism and reality and contemplates on is the war a game or reality
A War Film
-innocence of the child "he thought it was a game"
-AO3 Somme documentary
-Home front/ women experience of war
-grief, anguish, loss (in imagination)
-family "my little son..."
"if someday it should be taken away to war, tortured. torn. slain"
-women's voice, ignorance (or lack of?)
-guilt (helplessness of women)
-sacrifice "while his wind blows out the light for those who die hourly for us we can still dance"
"we are the dull blind carrion-fly that dance and batten"- identifies herself with these crowds
- ordinary pleasures and activities on the home front appear callous and grotesque when contrasted to the nightmare of the ongoing war
"the great guns beat"
-pastoral mood, but can hear the guns
"we are ringed all round by guarding walls so high, they shut the view"- censorship
-"you crash in vain"- futility
- ignorance in "just cause", underlines the Bishop of London's hypocrisy
- Offloading the guilt onto God, to protect him and to prolong the war further
-sardonic humour, realism, ironic
-physical injury changes
religion "the ways of God are strange"
-attack at authority
Portrait of a coward
-passivity and waiting "hours of battering brought his soul down to quivering"
"shot his leg and got a blighty, no man saying word of denying"
In a Soldier' Hospital I: Pluck
- women's voice
- loss of innocent youth "crippled for life at seventeen... a child so wasted and so white... other boys are still at play"
- "with both legs smashed it might have been better in that grim trench to die than drag maimed years out helplessly"
-Vera Britain, female voice
-women have a role/ purpose in the war effort
"these need you still; come back to them"
Smile, Smile, Smile
-criticism of authorities, newspapers
"secrets safe", "know and never speak"
-ignorance of the home front
Repressions of War Experience
-guilt at not acting in officer manner
-bitterness at the home front
-stiff upper lip idea "stop thinking; count fifteen, and you're right as rain"
"they've perished strong and young, missing the misery we elders find in missing them"
Paris, November 11, 1918
"the king-the army- navy- allies- England- and victory" (Graves- 'big words'
"our unforgotten dead" (more personal)
-women's voice, phase of consciousness 3/4
- to his fellow-officer and poet Siegfried Sassoon
"closely bound by the wet bond of blood"
"blossoming from the mud"
Report on Experience
-disillusionment "this is not what we were formerly told"
-"i have seen a green country knocked silly with guns"
For the fallen
Suggests ignorance in regards to remembrance being everlasting; it soon dwindles away, as 'On Passing New Menin Gate' (Sassoon) suggests
- bravery "fell with faces to the foe"
-patriotic glorification of death
-star symbolism to highlight immortalisation, spiritual grandeur
"too long, too deep a stain"- loss
"it must break some women's hearts" (distancing herself)
condemnation in "some young, piteous, murdered face"
-lack of remembrance "every busy wh*re's and huckster's face as they drive their bargain"
-grief "silence reigns"
- glorification of the dead
-gloomy natural imagery
"Altar of Remembrance... that Mecca of a broken heart"
- Heroism: "Great ones" vs. "her little homely lad"
"no solace from this marshalled woe he drains"
Armistice Day, 1921
-criticism of remembrance "taxis hurry on again"
-better to be dead "ours was a better dodge by far"
-economic depression for survivors
-home front vs. front line "i suffered anguish he's never guessed"
- death (glorification vs. reality)
-lack of guilt by home front about the deaths "thoughtful stare"
-duty vs. forced to fight
"in proud and glorious memory... that's my due"
On Passing the New Menin Gate
-criticism of memorialisation
"the unheroic Dead"
- "was ever an immolation (sacrifice) so belied as these intolerably nameless names?"
"rise and deride this sepulchre of crime"
A Generation (1917)
-aftermath, loss of future
"we look like strangers at the boys we were so long ago"
-war linked to a game of football
-"he thought he'd better join. He wonders why..."= disillusionment
-suffering, powerlessness, dehumanised
- "smiling they wrote his lie; aged 19 years" (link to John's eyesight)
-disillusionment "he thought of...", "some cheered him home"
"women's eyes passed from him to the strong men that were whole"
"why don't they come and put him into bed?"
-stiff upper lip, hiding illness
"hammering Hell's thunders"
"the heart burns- but has to keep out of face how heart burns"
The Superfluous Women
"but who will give me my children?"
war becoming cyclical, futile, an illusion, unreal
"this is all i know"
"endless picture show"
returns to this site of battle 1 year later
"and i dead as the men i loved, wait while life drags"
"i seek such neighbours here and i find none"
war crushed future plans and dreams
"we shall never shake the world together, you and i, for you gave your life away"
-repeated refrain "have you forgotten yet?" (direct pronoun
If ye Forget
"let me forget... i am weary of remembrance"
"then your children must remember"
The Midnight Skaters
-symbolism of ice linked to a parapet saving the men from death
-sensual, erotic imagery
-foreshadowing danger/ risk
-death personified and awaiting
The Next War
"who lost all likeness to a living thing, or were blown to bleeding patches of flesh"
"What more fitting memorial for the fallen than that their children should fall for the same cause"
"and the children went..." (ellipsis)
The War Generation: Ave
"but in that song we heard no waning chime, nor visualised... the threatening woe that our adventurous feet would starkly meet"
"to dethrone those dreams of happiness we thought secure"
"watching a generation grow to flower"
To a conscript of 1940
"i am one of those who went before you... of the many who returned and yet were dead"
"but the old world was restored"- futility
"if you can go knowing that there is no reward, no certain use in all your sacrifice, then honour is reprieved"
-"become a name with others slain"
-nothing more to say
THIS SET IS OFTEN IN FOLDERS WITH...
My Boy Jack- Act 1
War Poetry Context/ Background
The Great War and Modern Memory
My Boy Jack- Act 2
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE...
Minerich Act 4 & 5
Shakespeare Act 4 & 5 Test
Minerich Romeo+Juliet Act 4+5
Romeo and Juliet Act IV + V
OTHER SETS BY THIS CREATOR
Liberation Theology and Marxism
Pre-1900 Love Through the Ages Poetry
Energy Case Studies