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Drummer Hodge
Written in 1899 a few weeks after the beginning of the second Boer war in South Africa. The
poem is a memorial to a young soldier (drummer) from Dorset buried in a foreign country
and environment.
Key themes:
Contrast between drummer Hodge's humble Wessex roots and the…

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reflect the unfairness,
unforgivingness and pointlessness
of the war.

`His landmark is a kopje crest - This suggests that his grave is
That breaks the veldt around' unmarked. However, Hardy makes
this poem a monument to Hodge.
- `kopje' is Afrikaans for small
isolated hill, it is further separated

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- His only monument is a small hill in the middle of a vast expanse emphasising
Hodge's loneliness and isolation.

Stanza 2
`Young Hodge the drummer never knew - Hodge was probably younger than
Fresh from his Wessex home 17. It is suggested that he was
The meaning of the…

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now nourishing the earth is quite
- Conveys the permanence of
Hodge's death.

`And strange-eyed constellations reign - Hodge will never leave his burial
His stars eternally.' ground and forever be surrounded
by the unfamiliar.
- OR they provide some comfort in
that nature will bring some peace



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