Attack- Siegfried Sasson


At dawn the ridge emerges massed and dun 

In the wild purple of the glow’ring sun,

Sassoon sets the scene in the first lines. It seems peaceful and quiet at first, though the use of 'wild purple' to describe the colour of the sun is unusual- the sun is not normally purple. 'Wild' makes it sound like the light itself is distressed, taking away the previously calm and serene landscape. 'Glow'ring' personifies the sun, suggesting it is angry. This builds suspense as the reader wants to know why the sun is angry at what is sees when it rises.

Smouldering through spouts of drifting smoke that shroud 

The menacing scarred slope; and, one by one,

The hillside is 'smouldering' as if it has been burned. Sassoon uses alliteration of a harsh 's' sound here. They are spoken as if each word is being spat out, like the speaker disapproves of them. A 'shroud' is the cloth used to cover a dead body, so it seems as if some catastrophe has occured and it must be hidden. The slope has been 'scarred' which suggests its beauty has been permanently marred by the events that have taken place on it.

Tanks creep and topple forward to the wire. 

The barrage roars and lifts./

Here we start to figure out what has occured to ruin the land so. The tanks are personified; they 'creep and topple', seemingly without drivers. This shows the inhumane nature of war. The machines act without human emotion or sympathy. It also sounds a little like they are unsteady and not well trained; this explanation sounds


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