•  The poem is writtwn from the prespective of a soldier stationed in Iraq or Afghanistan.
  •  They are on patrole and see some looters, one appeared to have a gun so they open fire.
  •  The rest of the poem is looking at even long after this event, the soldier cannot leave this memory behind. 
  • PTSD
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  • dead bodies
  •  What is left after everything theyve been through
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Lines 1-4

"On another occasion..."

  • First line starts almost in the middle of a recounting of an event, more realistic. sounds like a speach
  • 'legs it' - Informal and colliquial, adds to the idea that this is a speach, adds realism.
  • 'probably armed, possibly not' - Uncertainty, casual way of them saying they didnt check if the looters were armed or not.
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Lines 5-8

"Well myself and somebody else..."

  • Implies poor memory over time
  • 'same mind, so all three..' - end-stopped line shows brutality of gun fire

Enjambment to the next stanza (line 8-9) 'I swear.. I see' 

  • Shows how they are all feeling the same.
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Lines 9-20

  • "rips through his life.." - violent but simple verbs, shocking image to reader, but he speaks so casually, because it was a part of his everyday life.
  •  Enjambment to next stanza- "I swear.. I see" - suggests an ongoing memory and struggle.
  • "mates" and "tosses his guts" sounds informal & colloquial like it snormality for the soldier
  • "End of story, except not really" - suggests he cant forget, change of style, becomes less like everyday speach.
  • "stays" "street" - Tone-  long vowel sounds suggests he has become more serious
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Lines 20-30


  • "Probably armed, possibly not" - Structure, comes back to haunt him
  • "Drink and the drugs" -  Alliteration, highlights what the soldier has now turned to
  • Repetition of 's' sound (sibilance), sounds suffocating
  • Alliteration/ plosive 'D' sound repeted, suggests a heaviness felt by the soldier, emotional.
  • Repetition of 'bloody'. "his bloody life in my bloody hands" - soldier has become a lady mcbeth figure. Hilights the guilt he feels. Two interperitations of "bloody" sounds informal like earlier, but also violent
  • Irregular rhyme scheme-  "eyes/lines" "land/sand" - emphasises most imported part of the poem, most passionate part from soldier.
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It is written as a monologue, from the point of view of the speaker. To give us a unique prespective, it makes it seem more honest and true, brings more emotion.

  • The feel of a fast paced natural speach
  • No regular rhythmic pattern, examples of enjambment.
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