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Perhaps- by Vera Brittain and Spring in War-Time by Edith Nesbit

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Introduction

What do these poems reveal to us about the responses of women to the death of their men during World War I, and, what effect does the poetic styles chosen by these poems contribute to their overall effect? The contents of these two poems describe the grieving emotions that each of the poets possess for their loved ones who died in battle during World War I. They reflect the sense of loss and loneliness following the death of a loved-one. The meanings of the poems demonstrate that even though nature goes on and things are reborn even though the beloved deceased have passed away, they celebrate the continuity of life after death. Perhaps- was dedicated to Vera Brittain's fianc�, Lieutenant Roland Aubrey Leighton (1895-1915), who served in World War I as a nurse. This poem begins each stanza by establishing the flamboyant idea of the restoration of life: "And I shall see that still the skies are blue" (l.2) ...read more.

Middle

The poem Spring in War-Time by Edith Nesbit reflects the sense of loss and loneliness following the death of a loved-one. The poem consists of four line stanzas with the first two lines unfolding the beauty of nature: "Now the sprinkled blackthorn snow Lies along the lover's lane" This is then followed by the last two lines illustrating the downhearted moods that reflect the restoration of nature because of her loss and knowing that she cannot be with her true love anymore: "Where last year we used to go - (l. 3-4) Where we shall not go again." Nesbit's approaches this poem with a similar attitude as Brittain's because she does not blame the authorities or the devotion of war in her poem. She is slowly getting over her loss of her lover by including soothing tranquilities to denote that her sentiments are beginning to calm after the preliminary shock such as 'In the hedge the buds are new'. ...read more.

Conclusion

Spring in War-Time being as short and poignant at the same time is less expressed as opposed to Brittain's Perhaps- because she seems to conceal most of her feelings: Perhaps- (l.18-19) "...There is one greatest joy I shall not know Again, because my heart of loss of You" Brittain communicates to the reader more fluently on a personal state and helps the reader to understand how open the poet is. Whereas Spring in War-Time: Spring in War-Time (l. 7-8) "Just like last year's violets, too, But they have no scent this year." Although, Nesbit explains the situation, she has not fully expressed her emotions to the reader by describing the nature and keeping her personal emotions to herself. Together, both of these poems are eloquently written for readers to realise what grief these poets are suffering from. This would have been experienced by many young women at the time of World War I since such a large number of men died during the war. As a result the birth rate dropped drastically and many women lived their lives widows or remained single. ...read more.

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