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.
- 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.