Beatrice Garland-Kamikaze




The poem is written about both from a narrator and the daughter of the pilot.The narrator explains the events, almost translating the story, while the speaker gives a first-person account of how they excluded her father.

The poet questions at the end which the death would have been better, to die as a kamikaze pilot young or to grow old with a family who shut you out.


Set around the events of a kamikaze pilot flying to war and then turning back before it was too late. Kamikaze pilots were expected to fly into their target and suicide.It was a great honour in Japan to die for your country.The pilot in this story returns home and is rejected by family forever.

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Written with no rythmic pattern and only 6/7 stanzas though most lines have 3/4 stresses .One notable feature of the poem's structure is that it is composed of only three sentences and contains only three full-stops, perhaps reflecting the idea of a story being told orally. The first sentence runs over five stanzas, as we are told about what the pilot can see from the cockpit. We are therefore given a lot of detail, allowing us to imagine more exactly the circumstances of the pilot's difficult decision.

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1st Quote

"embarked at sunrise...journey into history"

Normally the word "sunrise" is asscociated with happiness but in the poem the emotive noun is corrupted by power and conflict.Japan was known as the land of the rising sun linking to the culture and the duty he has to perform.

Hyperbole, Japan is a patriotic society and it is exagerated by dying in the country of their enemy, the "history" is  linked by performing the action of honour you create history and you will be seen as a hero in the eyes of the people.This is ironic as we know he will rethink his choice.

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2nd Quote

"Strung out like bunting"

"Bunting" is associated with celebrations which are pleasant, which is a contrast to his actions.It emphasises the attractive temptation of the life below him. Contrast with "journey into history", this symbolises the inner conflict. In the second stanza he begins to have second thoughts about the situation he is about to enter. The reader feels tension build up, it makes the reader personally feel regret/sorrow for the pilot.

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