Bryan Stearley

February 26, 2003

Poem explication

Life at War

        “War!”  It’s around us all the time.  If we’re not at war then there is always some other country around the world that is.  It’s all over movies and all over the news everyday.  Almost always showing the same thing, violence and innocent lives being taken.  There are many people that disagree with the idea of War.  As I read the poem, “Life at War” by Levertov, I started to realize that she might be one of these people.  Sometimes the images that people get from reading a poem can’t be found until they have read it many times.  Then and only then does that person have a full and complete understanding of what they are reading.  In the poem she talks about War and how it affects human life for the bad.  The poem portrays the image that Levertov is against War and that mankind will never be able to live at peace because of War.

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        The first reason why I believe that Levertov is against the idea of War is the way she speaks of Man.  In the poem she can’t believe how man could do such things to one another.  She can’t believe that such a sensitive being can do such harmful and hateful things to each other.  She says, “…these acts are one to our own flesh”(964).  By that she is saying that these acts of War that we as people “convince ourselves that it is necessary”(964) is actually done to our own flesh because we are killing people just like ourselves. ...

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