Vernon Scanell - Lived through the second world war and the cold war. Joined the army at 18 and was addicted to desertion, walking away from the army twice. The second time he ended up in a mental institute. One of his sons died as a young child and another died in adulthood. Writes about war and violence in things we don't imagine to be violent and thus creates a theme of danger in the simple things in life.
(Simple ABAB, Iambic pentameter rhyme scheme. 16 lines. Close to a sonnet form and is done to show how he goes against rules. Much like Scanell's desertion.)
My son aged three fell in the nettle bed.
'bed' ambigous word, something we would connotate with comfort whereas nettles aren't. The full stop haults the reader in their reading and so highlights this first line.
'Bed' seemed a curious name for those green spears,
That regiment of spite behind the shed:
'regiment' soliders. This metaphor explains the nettles. Anger tone in the consonace in the words 'spite' 'behind' 'shed'.
It was no place for rest. With sobs and tears
The boy came seeking comfort and I…