GCSE English Paper 2 Revision (8)

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What Were They Like?

  • What is it about?
  • written in 1971 as a protest against the Vietnam war.
  • about the effects that the war had on the normal people of Vietnam.
  • also about how little people knew about the damage that had been.
  • About the author
  • Denise Levertov protested against the war, and spent time in jail for doing so.
  • In the poem, she imagines a time when no one remembered anything of the Vietnamese culture or people.
  • Language
  • the people of Vietnam are described with insubstantial vocab, such "echoes" , "dream" and "moths" - this suggests the fading of memories.
  • harsh reality of war shown by substantial vocab, such as "bomb" , "scream" and "burned"
  • In the first line, Vietnam is written as Viet Nam - highlights ignorance of foreigners?
  • "buds" - represents new life, beginning
  • "for ornament" - peaceful society, appreciative of beauty.
  • "speech and singing" - shows the rich culture of Vietnam.
  • "sir" could be sarcastic, or respectful.
  • "light…


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