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The Different Aspects Of Conflict In A Selection Of Four War Poems

2051 words - 8 pages

The Different Aspects of Conflict in a Selection of Four War Poems

Many poems have been witnessed throughout history that show different
views on war and the glory and sacrifices made. Everyone was
affected, from the men in the front lines to women and children
working back at home. Men involved in the war effort often wrote
poems to record their thoughts and feelings, or simply to pass the
time. Poetry was an outlet through which they could express great
depth of meaning by condensing it into a few words. In this
assignment I am going to write about the war poems entitled ‘The
Charge of the Light Brigade’, a poem written in 1854 by Lord Alfred
Tennyson, ‘Dulce et Decorum est’, a poem written in the twentieth
century by Wilfred Owen, ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke and finally
‘Base Details’ by Siegfried Sassoon. Poems were often written on
patriotism, the enemy, the victims, peace, heroism and survival.
Although the war was horrific it brought society from a naive,
innocent state to a state of experience and awareness.

" What a pity it is that one can die

but once to serve our country. " Joseph Addison 1672-1719

This patriotic view of Joseph Addison was one shared by many. Young
men saw enrolment as an exciting adventure enabling them to travel the
world. Thousands were encouraged to enlist, and poems written at the
beginning of the war capture their optimistic, patriotic and very
naive attitude.

Poems such as "The Soldier " welcome patriotic death. In this sonnet
Rupert Brooke shows he feels fortunate to have been brought up in
England and believes it was a real blessing,

“If I should die think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is for ever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed”
“Washed by the rivers, blessed by the suns of home”

The poem gives the impression of England being an idyllic country,
timeless and everything in it is perfect, showing comradeship. England
is personified as being a mother. Brooke’s message in this poem is
that if he should die, the place of his death will be made richer by
his body. The body will carry these English blessings, passing them
onto the ground on which it lies.
Brooke writes his own epigraph and shows a moving sense of the poet’s
deep love of England and it’s people. The poet feels he can influence
the thoughts of those left behind, with this he will try to cement the
continuation of those qualities that he thinks of as being essentially
English. Brooke has transformed the poem into a sonnet, not addressed
to a loved one but to his country.

In this poem the moods of the first few months of the war are summed
up. Despite the subject matter there is a sort of serenity in the
poem, even the words ‘If I should die’ suggests that he expects...

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