Stephen Crane uses several different poetic and stylistic devices in his lyrical organic poem, “Do not weep, maiden, for war is kind”. For instance, the structure of the poem is made up of five stanzas. The purpose of the poem is to explain to readers the horror and distraction that comes with war. “These men where born to drill and die”-Lines 19. War also comes between families and loved, ones tearing them apart. “Mother.../... shroud of your son”-23-24. Dominant devices prevailing in the poem are tone/mood, diction, imagery, and sound devices.
The tone present in this poem is one of sarcasm. The poet uses a sarcastic tone to mock war, this persuades readers that death caused by war is horrific. Stephen Crane uses verbal irony when stating that “War is kind”-Line 5, but later mentions “These men were born to drill and die”-Line 8 and “A field where a thousand corps lie”-Line 11. Men being born for the purpose of dying and a large holocaust does not demonstrate the kindness of war, thus conveying the poet’s tone. The mood prevalent in the poem is sadness and sympathy. As through the stanza’s the poet directs his attention to three different women when addressing the matter of war. At first the poet
is speaking to a maiden who has lost her husband to the cruelty of war; “Do not weep, maiden.../Because your lover”-Lines 1/2. Then he turns his attention to the soldier’s daughter “Do not weep, babe.../Because your father”-Lines 12/13. Finally in the fifth stanza the poet is communicating with the soldiers mother, “Mother whose heart hung.../... shroud of your son”-Lines 23/24. The poet does this hoping that readers will feel sympathetic towards these women and spreading sadness through his poem.
Style is the special way an poet creates his or her work. Diction contributes to style in an extensive way. Stephan Crane’s diction is informal as he writes using words like “babe”-Line12. He also employs military jargon to portray his diction. Military jargon are words used in military life, that only a person who is taking part in the military will understand. Placing words like “regiment”-Line 6; which is a permanent unit of an army typically commanded by a colonel and divided into several companies. Another example of military jargon is “shroud”-Line 24, meaning a garment used to cover and bury the dead. Also “virtue”-Line 20 defined as a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person.
The poet also uses figures of speech to illustrate his diction. The same “virtue”-Line 20, is used as figure of speech, an oxymoron; “virtue of slaughter”Line 20. The despicable action of murder, is opposed to a virtue making it an oxymoron. “the excellence of killing”-Line 21 the same applies here, because normally killing is not considered excellent and it is a positive attribution. An additional oxymoron, “splendid shroud of your son”-Line 24, for how could the sheet covering the mother’s dead son be a splendid thing? Stephan Crane uses these negative...