AQA Anthology - Power and Conflict Notes


Remains - Simon Armitage


  • Guilt: the speaker in this poem is haunted by the guilt of taking another man’s life. He is upset by the fact that the man might have been innocent.‘probably armed, possibly not’This phrase is repeated in the poem, emphasising the speaker’s sense of discomfort at having killed another human being who may have been innocent.
  • Conflict: the speaker is acting under orders and is engaged in combat in another country.‘dug in behind enemy lines,/ not left for dead in some distant, sun-stunned, sand-smothered land’The physical description of the place is dry and dusty, reminding the reader of images of newsreel scenes of wars. The men were ‘sent out’, showing that they were soldiers acting under orders.
  • Life and death: the looter is killed by rounds of


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