An Irish Airman Foresees His Death
· An elegy
· ABAB rhyme scheme – alternating rhymes
· Prolific use of personal pronouns – emphasises the personal nature of loss
· Iambic tetrameter
· Nationalism/Irish concerns
o Those that I guard I do not love- He was fighting for Britain, who had oppressed the Irish for centuries.
o Those that I fight I do not hate- in fact, they are fighting his oppressors- enemies of the enemy=friends?
o My country is Kiltartan Cross / My countrymen Kiltartan’s poor – identifies this ‘hero’ with Western Ireland again (district in Galway). Synecdoche- the use of a specific locality to represent the whole of an ideal Ireland. Link to Connemara in ‘The Fisherman’ and Sleuth Wood in ‘The Stolen Child’.
o No likely end could bring them [his countrymen] loss / Nor leave them happier than before – conveys sense of futility regarding the Irish situation. Should the British win, ireand will remain under their oppression, should the Germans win it will simply mean a change in oppressor.
o The years to come seemed waste of breath / a waste of breathe the years behind – the futility of the nationalist cause / politics? Compares to the lonely impulse…