English Literature: War Poems

Charge of the light Brigade, War, A Wife in London, The Battle Of Bleinheim, Dirge of The Dead Sisters, The Hyenas

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The Battle Of Blenheim - Robert Southy.

After Blenheim is a poem that illustrates the pointlessness of war. Written 94 years after the Battle of Blenheim at the war ground, it is the aftermath of war. It tells the story of an old man and his grandchildren. Old Kasper is sitting outside his cottage when his grandson Peterkin finds a skull. Old Kasper begins to tell the Peterkin and his sister about the Battle of Blenheim that once took place there. In each verse Old Kasper explains a violent scene of bloodshed and death:

Themes; Pointlessness
Brutality of War
Death

Rhyming - ABCBDD
Structure - 6 lines, 11 verses.
A closed form - Structured

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Language Features

Skull" is one of the most essential parts of the body and makes the reader recognise that the skull was once a part of a human body which emphasizes the pointlessness of war.
"Famous victory" - Repetition on each last line of every verse. Even though it is implying that it was a victory, i think it actually infers the opposite and is infering that that is all the father knows about war and it wasnt a great victor att all. Irony. This is an allerogy.
"Wonder waiting" alliteration
"He was forced to fly" metaphor
"Now tell us about the war and what they fought each other for" flashback
"Lay rotting in the Sun, It was a summer evening" Irony as personification is usually used.

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Come Up The Fields Father by Walt Whitman

The author, was a wound dresser working in hospitals during the civil war between the north and south of America.

Themes: Brutality of War
Pointlessness
Suffering

No rhyme
Structure: Free structure
Either 5 or 9 lines, 11 verses



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Language Features

""Smell you the smell of the grapes on the vines" Sensory Language
"Smell you the buckwheat where the bees were lately buzzing?" Rhetorical Question
"The only son is dead" Short sentences
"Weeping, Waking, Longing" Assosance
"To Follow, To be, To seek" Reptition.

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The Charge Of The Light Brigade - Alfred Tennyson

A poem about a head commander who made a big mistake in war but as members of the army they had to follow orders knowing they were going to die

Themes: Brutality Of War
Unreasoning
Death
Bad leadership

Structure: 8 line verse apart from 2 that are 3 and 6, 7 in total
Rhyming: No prominent rhyme
Freely structured to a certain extent.

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Language Features

"Rode the Six-Hundred" Repition
"Stormed and Shot and Shell" Alliteration
"Sabre-Stroke, Shattered and shundered" Alliteration
"When can their glory fade?" Rhetorical Question
"Came through the Jaws of death" Metaphor
"Into the Mouth of Hell" Metaphor

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A wife in London by Thomas Hardy

A poem about a woman nervously waiting for the news of her husband fighting in South Africa

Themes: Loneliness
Anticipation
Suffering of Those left Behind

Structure: 4 Verses, 5 lines a verse
Rhyming: ABBAB varies
Free structure to a certain extent

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Language Features

"Thames-side lanes have urolled" Metaphor
"The street lamps glimmer cold" Personification
"A messengers knock cracks smartly" Metaphor
"Flashed news in her hand" Metaphor
"Firelight Flicker" Alliteration
"Fog hangs thicker" Personification
"Fresh-Firm" Alliteration

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War by Edgar Wallace

About the first hand experience of dealing with the suffering of the war as he wa a medical orderly.

Themes: The suffering
Pointlessness of war
Pity

Structure: 3 Verses, 12 lines a verse
Rhyming: ABABCDCDEFFF
A closed form

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Language Features

"And its War." Repition
"A mutter of guns at the front" Metaphor
"Limp, mangled work of a gun" Metaphor
"Flickering light of a soul" Metaphor
"Clink" Onomatepia
"Bluer and Bluer" Hyperbole, Alliteration and Repition
"A trickle of what?" Rhetorical Question
"Face has turned grey" Metaphor

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Dirge of the Dead sisters by Rudyar Kipling

For the Nurses who died in the South African War.

Themes: Memories
Sadness
Suffering

Structure: 3 Verse, 6 Lines Each
Rhyming: Some rhyming couplets 
Fairly closed form

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Language Features

"Crystal Evening Air" Metaphor
"Clink" Onamatepia
"Who recalls the noontideand the funerals through the market" Rhetorical Question
"Stench, Staleness" Sensory Language

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The Hyenas by Rudyard Kipling

A poem about hyenas and about how these scavngers dig up and eat the buried bodies of soilders.

Themes: Dehumanisation
Brutality
Pity of War

Structure: 7 Verses, 4 lines each
Rhyming: ABAB
Closed Form.

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Language Features

"Baffled kites" Metaphor
"They know the dead are safer meat than the weakest thing alive" Comparitive language
"Whoop and Halloo" Onomatepia
"Our" Possesive Pronouns

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