- The poet describes a running bayonet attack against the enemy from the viewpoint of a soldier.
- The poem focuses on the feelings of the man in the chaos of battle.
What is special about this poem?
- Ted Hughes uses a series of dramatic imades that seem to explode out of the poem one after another.
- The violent language is halted for a strange moment, a pause in time, before the charge continues.
- The theme of patriotism and the natural instinct to feel fear in the battle are juxtaposed.
Into the attack
The initialising word 'suddenly' throws the reader into the action of the soldier running. Hughes chooses powerful. harsh verbs to describe the soldier('stumbling', 'lugged') and the battle action around him as the field 'dazzled with rifle fire' and bullets were 'smacking…