• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

War Poems. I Was Only Nineteen by Redgum and And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle are emotional accounts of two men who fought in two different wars and the physical and emotional scaring they suffered upon their return.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

WAR: A simple word, yet one of the most powerful words we will ever hear. A word, which has evoked stirring emotions from the beginning of time and will continue to do so until the end of time. 'I Was Only Nineteen' by Redgum and 'And the Band Played "Waltzing Matilda" by Eric Bogle are emotional accounts of two men who fought in two different wars and the physical and emotional scaring they suffered upon their return. Today these two poems will be compared and contrasted by discussing their subject matter, themes, emotions, poetic devices and purpose. Both of these poems share similar subject matter. Both poems are about the atrocities of war witnessed through the eyes of young soldiers and the emotional hardships and physical trauma they suffer upon their return. 'I was only Nineteen' is a widely recognized song by Australian folk group Redgum. It is a first person account of a typical Australian soldier's experience in the Vietnam War, from training in Australia, to first hand exposure to military operations and combat, and ultimately his return home disillusioned, psychologically scarred and also suffering from the effects of the chemical defoliant, Agent Orange. ...read more.

Middle

The poem again contemplates the loss of youth as a young healthy rover from the outback has his life stolen, from the maiming of his legs in WW1. This is portrayed in the lines, 'For to hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs. No more waltzing Matilda for me', which evokes the sense of loss, as he will no longer be able to throw a swag upon his back and roam, as he did in his previous carefree life. Both these poems express broad range of emotions, ranging from sadness, pity, pride, loss, and anger to disillusionment. Bogle writes, 'To grieve and to mourn and to pity' express the sense of emotions that family feel when they see the once strong, healthy, young men carried off the ship broken and shattered upon their return from Gallipoli. In contrast, Redgum's poem expresses the emotion of pride in the line, Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing out parade. One can feel the sense of pride his parents and brother must have felt at the time of his passing-out parade, as indicated by the family's full attendance. ...read more.

Conclusion

"God help me, I was only nineteen" is repeated throughout 'I was only Nineteen', to remind the reader of how "young and strong and clean" most of the young conscripts were when they went to Vietnam, reinforcing the thematic concern that a loss of innocence is the major result of war. In conclusion the reader can see how similar these poems are. Both poems are written in song form, and both clearly illustrate the scaring that young men carry after they return from war. 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda', deals with the physical scarring of a man maimed from losing his legs while to "I was only Nineteen" deals with the emotional scarring and post-traumatic stress of a returned soldier from the Vietnam War. Both poems also dismiss the myth that war is glorious and heroes all return home, as both poems describe vividly how many men die on the battlefields and therefore do not return home. It is no surprise that both these poems have become award winning songs, as they both project the physical and emotional scarring suffered by veterans through the use of various poetic techniques, such as imagery, rhyme, repetition and onomatopoeia. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE War Poetry section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE War Poetry essays

  1. comparing war poems

    Wilfred Owen wrote the poem "To a certain lady poetess", Jessie Pope, implying that war was not romantic. He wanted to explode the myth that death is romantic and beautiful. Wilfred Owen's poem totally contradicts the title 'Dulce et Decorum est' which means that it is sweet to die for your country.

  2. 4 poems written by Tony Harrison

    Although the son doesn't believe this, because he says in the poem 'I thought how his cold tongue burst into flame but only literally, which makes me sorry, sorry for his sake that there is know heaven to reach'. What the son means by 'cold tongue' is the father could not put thoughts into words.

  1. How is War Presented in Three WW1 Poems of Your Choice? Dulce Et Decorum ...

    Brooke is saying that there is a larger purpose that can be achieved through death, which is another example of Brooke romanticizing the war and death. To soldiers, the thought of being transformed into a great soul, forever linked to your nation because of your connection with England, is consistent

  2. How do two of the poems show how the poets were trying to enlighten ...

    This is because it highlights "One of us!" by ending the sentence half way through the second line. The technique is also used in Recruiting but in a different way, "Go and help to swell the names in the casualty lists."

  1. Explore how Owen, McRae and Brooke present the physical and mental horrors of war.

    their pall", where Owen personifies the pall, or coffin cloth, almost giving their deaths a sense of meaning with someone who will be with them, in complete contrast to the cynical dehumanised funeral imagery of the first stanza. The final line of the poem, "And each slow dusk a drawing

  2. Compare and contrast the ways in which writers present their attitudes to the First ...

    The poet uses repetition of the word 'Who' in the majority of the lines, almost accusingly. The whole poem excluding the last stanza is made out of rhetorical questions, including the title 'Who's for The Game?' This would make the reader feel as if the poet was talking directly to him, and that he should answer.

  1. 'Compare a selection of WW1 poetry to show how different aspects of the war ...

    In the 2nd stanza he uses a lot of alliteration and repetition, especially for these two lines. 'Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;' At the beginning of this line he has already used alliteration by saying 'sights and sounds'.

  2. The changing tradition of war poetry

    Will you send a strangled cheer to the sky and grin tell your cheeks are red?" He has done this to create a flow in the poem and that one idea flows into the next so the reader can sign up.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work