AQA Anthology: Conflict: The Falling Leaves

  • Created by: grace
  • Created on: 22-05-12 17:25

The Falling Leaves by Margaret Postgate Cole. Dame Margaret Postgate Cole (1893-1980) was an English politician and writer, who campaigned against conscription during the First World War. She studied at Cambridge, and worked as a teacher whilst writing, before entering politics in 1941.

The poem is about autumn leaves from the trees. The falling leaves remind the poet of young soldiers being killed in war.

The form of the poem: the poem is made up of one stanza, which contains only one complex sentence. This represents a moment of intense thought. The lines are all different lengths - this could be to suggest the random way the leaves fall. The regular rhyme scheme helps to create a peaceful atmosphere, with gentle sounds.

The structure of the poem: the poem hinges around the semi-colon in line 6 - before this the poet is describing the leaves falling, and afterwards she switches to describing soldiers being killed. This creates a comparison between leaves falling for no apparent reason, and soldiers dying for no good cause.

The formal language of the poem: the poet uses quite formal, old-fashioned vocabulary to describe a simple scene. This adds dignity and gravity to the comparison with the soldiers' deaths.

The natural imagery in the poem: falling leaves and dying men are both compared to snowflakes. This highlights the sheer number of men killed, the silence of their deaths and how quickly their lives vanished. There is some alliteration to describe natural…




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Marium Hussain


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