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War poems

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War poems In this piece of coursework I will be focusing on poetry depicting the sufferings and repercussions of war. The poems I have chosen are based upon the Boer War (1899-1902), and the American Civil War (1861-65). They concentrate on victims of war, thousands o miles from the battlefield, and how the stupidity of the ordeal can draw in innocent casualties. The first poem which I feel portrays the off-field victims of war is 'Come up from the Fields Father' by Walt Whitman. After working in the Civil War as a 'wound dresser' Whitman soon lost his enthusiasm for the war. Here he writes imaginatively about the effects of war on a farming family, who receive a letter from their son, whom will inherit the land one day. The first few stanzas illustrate the peaceful and picturesque Ohio countryside. Brimming with verbs and adjectives such as 'cool', 'sweeten' 'vital', 'ripe', 'deeper green', 'yellower' and 'redder'. ...read more.


Alas, there may be only one cure to her insanity- 'to follow, to seek, to be with her dead soon'. He is in the afterlife, and whether she is prepared to face it or not, it is the only way she can be with her son. The second poem which I feel shows suffering and stupidity of war is 'Drummer Hodge' by Thomas Hardy. Born near Dorchester, he made his locality famous with his poems. He wrote many a fine novel and short story, notably "Far From the Madding Crowd" published in 1974, his breakthrough writing. In 1899 he watched troops bound for South Africa, and wrote a sequence of Bore War poems, outstanding for their insight and empathy. In his local Dorset newspaper, Hardy read of the death of a drummer boy born in a village near Dorchester. He decided to utilise the objective 'Hodge' (meaning a country bumpkin) ...read more.


'Flashed news in her hand of meaning it dozes to understand' and then comes the decisive line, 'he-has-fallen-in the far southern land. Hardy amplifies the distance between the couple with the phrase 'far south land', meaning South Africa. The twist of fate posed in the story is that from the simple message, the wife believes that her husband is already dead, although he is very much alive, unable to escape from the hospital. This shows how you can be a victim of war and it's repercussion, thousands of miles form the fighting. War is an immensely effective event, whether it be at the time of the fighting or hundreds of years after. It is recorded across many media, from books to film, songs to poems, beautiful detailed pictures, and simple but genius cartoons. This selection proves to us not only that war effects people all over, but that it can be recorded just as accurately, if not more, in words than film and lines, almost as good as witnessing the horror with your own eyes. -Niall -Mc Neill Niall Mc Neill English Literature Coursework- War poems ...read more.

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