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Does it Matter

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Introduction

Siegfried Sassoon is the author of critical war poems, and is known for his rather 'satirical' anti war verse. He was an English poet who was motivated to write by his deep sense of patriotism, seasoned with his military experience of the First World War. The news of his brother's death in war had a rather heavy impact on him; it strengthened the roots of his hatred for war, which casts shadows upon most of his critical works. In 1985, Sassoon was amongst sixteen Great War poets whose names were carved on a rather honourable slate stone at Westminster Abbey's Poet Corner. The title of the poem, 'Does It Matter?' directly suggests the subject of the stanzas, that is, the reflection of the lives of soldiers who have returned from war, no longer able-bodied, and the cold attitudes of the society towards their disabilities. Sassoon effectively conveys his resentment and disrepute for the society, and their snobbish ways. The poem begins with a rhetorical question, rather simple and straightforward- Did it matter, if the soldier no longer had legs, due to war? ...read more.

Middle

Sassoon has sarcastically written 'There's such splendid work for the blind', for which I think the word 'splendid' is emphasized upon. Although Sassoon uses 'splendid', he means exactly the opposite, which is why the word is somewhat 'highlighted' in the poem. Again, he says that 'people will always be kind', but means the opposite of what is said. The next two lines of the poem are rather heart wrenching. Sassoon describes the life of the blind soldier, not only physically blinded, but emotionally blocked out as well. He refers to how the day or night, whether the soldier sat on the terrace or not, made no difference to him, for his life was engulfed with darkness. The last stanza is rather personal towards the soldier concerned, and thus, isn't all too sarcastic as the other stanzas. It deals with his dreams, of unwanted memories of the soldier's experience of war. It describes the inevitable attitude of the soldier towards life, and how drinking to rid of his memories is seen rather normal, with no concern of the society whatsoever. The poem has a rhyme scheme of a-bb-c-a, which gives the poem a rather subdued aura (for example 'blind-kind', 'kind-mind' and 'glad-mad''). ...read more.

Conclusion

To gobble their muffins and eggs'' makes us picture a bunch of hunters sat around a table, eating away their food after a wild hunt. This reflects the torture prisoners at war endure, after greedy soldiers have fought their best to capture them. ''As you sit on the terrace remembering, and turning your face to the light' makes us visualize a soldier on his terrace, pensive in his horrific memories of the war. It is indeed ironic, how the soldier is said to be blind, yet, he is turning his sight towards 'light' which makes me think that he is in search of optimism, after a period of dark times. ?''You can drink and forget and be glad'' make sme think of the soldier being rather desperate to get rid of his nightmares. The last line, that is, '' And no one will worry a bit'' in my opinion, is a mockery of the media and propaganda of that day, and the society who shows no concern for the soldier whatsoever. This poem is heavily ironic, bringing out nothing but anger and spite towards the society. I think it is effective in the way it has been structured, and briefly written. It is short and simple, which is what motivates the readers to its effectiveness. ...read more.

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