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Analyse how Poets present their attitudes to War in three of the poems you have studied.

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Introduction

Pre-1914 Poetry Unit. Analyse how Poets present their attitudes to War in three of the poems you have studied. "Once and for all the idea of glorious victories won by the glorious army must be wiped out. Neither side is glorious. On either side they're just frightened men messing their pants and they all want the same thing - not to lie under the earth, but to walk upon it." Peter Weiss. S This famous anti war quotation by the German writer Peter Weiss clearly shows the attitude that Rilke, Whitman and Southey had to war whilst writing their poems. Each of the three poems that will be discussed in this essay leads the reader to think that war is pointless but takes a different approach to do this. Rilke talks about the feelings of the loved ones who are left behind when the men go off to war and the feeling of desperation as they can do nothing to stop them. Similarly Whitman talks about the feelings of the loved ones at home when someone they are close to gets injured or dies, and they get the dreaded letter that is sent home from the frontline when all they can do is sit at home thinking that somewhere someone they love is suffering for their wellbeing and they can't help them. ...read more.

Middle

Later on in the poem Whitman uses her perspective again because he considers it a strong view. When Whitman refers to the son as "Our Pete" he adds a much more personal note to the poem. On the other hand in the second stanza Whitman slows the pace of the poem down, he starts to set the scene and speaks about the "leaves fluttering in the moderate wind" this calms the reader down and puts the reader into a false sense of security, as the bad news of the letter is still to come. Also in this stanza Whitman makes use of all the senses, for example he describes the smell of the grapes. Also he describes the beautiful autumn weather and how he can feel the "moderate wind", how he can smell the "Buckwheat where the bees where lately buzzing" and how he can see the Forest's different colours contrasting against one another. This makes the reader think of peacefulness and adds a feeling of prosperity that all is well. The Third stanza takes you back to the family setting. It says how all is well, down in the fields however when the daughter is brought back into the poem it all starts to speed up again. ...read more.

Conclusion

By using the young characters in this way to pronounce the final judgement, Southey expresses his beliefs through young people and he shows that he believes they have a deep insight into life which is lost over age as shown by the grandfather accepting the general view. The reader is lead by the poet from the state of being innocently ignorant of war, to openly condemning it as "a very wicked thing" towards the end. Southey has written this poem in the form of a ballad, the poem has a simple message and is written similar to a story. The simplicity of a ballad suits the simple message that Southey is trying to get across. Also ballads will usually include a repeated word or phrase in this case at the end of most stanzas "Famous victory" is repeated. Southey's poem is different to Rilke's and Whitman's poems as Southey was writing against the official view of the public. However all three poets views on war are the same because they all thought that it was a stupid waste of life and that there was no point in fighting the war they write about. ?? ?? ?? ?? Alex Davies Monday, 14 September 2009 Mr. Dorofeyuv ...read more.

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