WW1 - poetry

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  • Created on: 27-08-14 12:54
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PRE WAR POETRY
The charge of the light brigade ­ Alfred Lord Tennyson
Based on a disastrous cavalry change during the battle of cardigan
The story of a brigade consisting of 600 soldiers who rode on horseback into the "valley
of death" for half a league (about one and a half miles). They were obeying a command to
charge the enemy forces that had been seizing their guns.
The 600 soldiers were assaulted by the shots of shells of canons in front and on both
sides of them. Still, they rode courageously forward toward their own deaths: "Into the
jaws of Death / Into the mouth of hell / Rode the six hundred."
Few remained to make the journey back.
The world marvelled at the courage of the soldiers; indeed, their glory is undying: the
poem states these noble 600 men remain worthy of honour and tribute today.

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Form
Comprised of six numbered stanzas varying in length from six to twelve lines. Each line
is in diameter.
The rhyme scheme varies with each stanza. Often, Tennyson uses the same rhyme (and
occasionally even the same final word) for several consecutive lines: "Flashed all their
sabres bare / Flashed as they turned in air / Sab'ring the gunners there.…read more

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However, this poem goes one step further than to merely condemn the subject. Hardy
was always a melodist, and this poem is a fine example of his belief that man can
overcome the evils of war.…read more

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To An Athlete Dying Young - A.E.
Housman
The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
To-day, the road all runners come,
Shoulder high-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay
And early though the laurel grows
It whithers quicker than the rose.…read more

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And lures from cities and from fields,
To sell their liberty for charms
Of tawdry lace, and glittering arms;
And when Ambition's voice commands,
To march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.
I hate that drum's discordant sound,
Parading round, and round, and round:
To me it talks of ravaged plains,
And burning towns, and ruined swains,
And mangled limbs, and dying groans,
And widows' tears, and orphans' moans;
And all that Misery's hand bestows,
To fill the catalogue of human woes.…read more

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Recruiting" shows that the reality of war is different to the propaganda recruitment, the
poem contains bitter criticism of the politicians who sent the soldiers off to war and the
journalists who write about it. The poem comments on the recruitment drive in Britain;
taking issue in particular with posters encouraging young men to sign up to the army.…read more

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THERE they go marching all in step so gay!
Smooth-cheeked and golden, food for shells and guns.
Blithely they go as to a wedding day,
The mothers' sons.
The drab street stares to see them row on row
On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark.
Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go
Into the dark.
With tin whistles, mouth-organs, any noise,
They pipe the way to glory and the grave;
Foolish and young, the gay and golden boys
Love cannot save.…read more

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A bohemian is someone who is
unconventional, rebellious and
does not conform.
The poem discusses the
different people who join up to
the army satirizing the
punishments the soldiers
received for not wearing the
correct uniform. The
individuality of the soldiers is
erased. The soldiers who
"burnished brasses, earned
promotions" - the soldiers who
conformed to the army rules were
promoted.…read more

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IMAGERY AND LANGUAGE
Image Type of Effect
image
"Barely escaping hanging, Alliteration The poet satirizes the punishments
indeed hardly able" for not wearing the correct uniform
exaggeration
"others burnished Alliteration Emphasises the action of polishing
brasses, earned brass as an act that "earned
promotions" promotions"
"While others argued of Alliteration The use of alliteration reinforces the
army ways, and message of these lines ­ that
wrenched / What little conforming to army ways was soul
soul they had still destroying.…read more

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The poem builds sympathy for both the mother and Jack; it also criticizes Jack's
comrades and the manner in which nervous soldiers were condemned. The speaker's tone
suggests the disgust he feels for way in which the soldier was treated and thought of. Like
the mother in "The Deserter", Jack's mother will never no the truth and pain (both physical
and psychological) of her son's death.…read more

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