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Route March Rest by Vernon Scannell, Night Raid by Desmond Hawkins, The Battle by Louis Simpson - How do the poets communicate emotional or moving responses to war?

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Introduction

What do these poems tell us about wartime life and the thoughts and feelings of civilians and soldiers? How do the poets communicate emotional or moving responses to war? T he following essay will try to answer the question above. Using references and quotes from three wartime poems I will explain what they tell us about wartime life and the thoughts and feelings of civilians and soldiers. I will also clarify how the poets communicate emotional and moving responses to the disturbing war. The three poems that will be analysed are: * Route March Rest - by Vernon Scannell, * Night Raid - by Desmond Hawkins, * The Battle - by Louis Simpson. I have selected these poems because they contain both similarity and contrast. These aspects are important in order to produce a high-quality essay as they provide a more balanced view of the poems. Both the contrasts and similarities will be shown to give the reader a clearer overview of the poems. ...read more.

Middle

There is also an intriguing skill that the poets used creating both tension and suspense. It symbolises the feelings and ambience, which surrounded the people living through the war. In Vernon Scannell's poem, Route March Rest, obvious tension is created by the use of shorter sentences towards the end and also the reintroduction of the marching rhythm, which was present at the start. In Desmond Hawkins' poem, Night Raid, tension is created right from the start as the first character is a "sleeper" on a bench. This is seen again on the second line with the introduction of a "daft boy". These bizarre characters act as tension builders and, when combined with the other methods, create a sense of threat and suspicion in the shelter. The sentence: "They're coming up from the east. Way off the guns muttered distantly" also builds up the tension since it mentions actions which dangerous and approaching fast. ...read more.

Conclusion

In Desmond Hawkins' poem, Night Raid, there are very few contrasts. However, there is one that involves the first half of the poem against the second. The first stanza is filled with relatively small and concise words whereas the second stanza contains longer and more descriptive words. This creates a slowing down effect, as the short words of the first stanza build up the tension, and then the long words of the last stanza slow it down. Louis Simpson's technique in The Battle to create contrasts involves onomatopoeias and metaphors. In the last verse it states, "tiredness in eyes" and "hands looked thin around a cigarette". This verse is much slower than the rest, which is a big contrast since it is meant to be in mid battle. Also, the "bright ember" represents the ever-glowing pulse of life and is therefore an opposite of the dull, black and white coloured images described in the earlier stanzas. Contrasts are present in each of the three selected poems but "Route March Rest" and "The Battle" use colours whereas "Night Raid" uses the length of words. Jack Layden 30/04/2007 1 ...read more.

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