Pree 19th centurey war poetry
With reference to poems of my choice show how the war poetry
(Pre 20th Century) reflect both the glamour and horror of war.
The overall image that the reader can grasp after reading these poems is of a mans view of what war is and how it affects the human race. Full of tawdry lace, and glittering arms, they maybe thinking of seeing. However, after all the glamour and battery smoke, has faded and settled, what is it, that will know face them, will it be Parading round, and round, and round or are you just theirs, but to do and die.
After reading these poems what the reader can understand is that during, and before 1900 it would be seen as an act of bravery, a sign of patriotism and also they may see as glamour upon themselves. Glamour upon oneself may give them pride, respect and the thought of heroism.
When one joins his countries armed services he will be thinking he will be in good hands, when ordered by the officer, the officer would know what he is doing, the officer would have thought about it. Except this one. The stupidity of this one would be costly. The charge of the light brigade was just that. A supposedly trustworthy leader gave a thoughtless order and sent a noble six hundred half a leaguing into the jaws of death.
The way in which the poet sets the tempo of the piece is highly linked to the way in which the soldiers would be hurdling towards the ridge where the Russians were be placed. On horses, they would have rode and the way the poem is paced is that of horses galloping.
What young men and boys would find appealing in this scenario, is that it would be seen as act of bravery and heroism, to be ordered into battle against shot and shell. That would be fired at them, from front and back, left and right, volleying and thundering, into their paths of attack. People who would read about this would have the thoughts and feelings of what a soldier would want them too have. They are brave and heroic didnt think of the dangers they were just ordered and so they attacked.
Three lines which would sum up what their job was once they had left home turf is that of, Theirs not to make reply, Theirs not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die. At home they would be full of enthusiasm, the people in charge of recruiting would be telling of all the good heroic acts that they would be performing. But once placed in a front line position with a sabre in one hand and a horse rein in the other its a totally different story. This is what people was lead to believe about the war.
To me the most horrific line in this poem is when can their glory fade? In the eyes of the commanding officer it will fade when he sends over the next victims of the thundering and volleying shells. But to the friends and families it will never, because in their eyes, there son, husband or fried would have fought for king and country and died a brave and well-respected man. However a person that he would of died for is that of the commanding officer and this is sad, as the officer would be able to live and tell the tail, but for the soldier it would be a different story.
A clever use of disrespect is the way in which the poet dismisses the use of the commanders name and only mentions his act once. Some one had blundered. This is very clever, as in those days you wouldnt have had news reporters on the scene, or reports in the newspapers. So it would be likely that no one really knows his name any way.
When we are young, anything that we may think about we would only see the glamorous side and not the horror. Thats what For two voices shows us, the sons opinions of The soldiers marching past in the sun with their bright spears!
A feeling what the reader can pick up on from the mothers view on the situation, is that of, she may have experienced the sound of a girl crying or many mothers wanting a son. So this mother knows what consequences she could be facing, which are the total opposite to the sons thoughts. A sign in which shows the mother astonishment, is Child, child, what are you saying, this to me shows that the child hadnt thought through what he has said. He again only looks at the side in which all the army recruiting staff and the generals want, and thats of the glamour and not to think of any of the bad things.
Here rides the general, pacing slow! Well he may, if he knows what I know This line is the most manipulative in the poem, as it could have meaning, of one of two things. He could be pacing slow to absorb all of the raw as well as the guarded emotions. This is a very clever use of psychology by the poet, as from a readers point of view you can see both sides of this argument. The way in which all of the other poems are set out to be, more on the critical offence; this poem is different, as the boys views shows us what he is seeing in there bright spears. The side in which he is expressing is again the side that the recruiting staff and generals would want them to see.
The over all message of John Scotts poem, The Drum. Is him trying to make the reader understand his annoyance in what he is seeing, in that of the young boys selling their liberty and charms for tawdry lace and glittering arms at such an early age; but to the boys they are selling there freedom for what they see as Ambitions voice commanding them to march, and fight, and fall, in foreign lands.
What the poet has done is not let the reader forget what he is reading and nor what is about. As the repetition is very strong as if you were to hate that drums discordant sound, Parading round and round, and round. You may have a chance of survival and not join up to the army, as this is what war is all about. The overall concept of its discordant sound is no-one really likes war and the parading round and round and round is what war is, it just doesnt get us anywhere.
In all the war poetry that I have read there are always two sides, the horror and the glamour. The horror in this poem is felt all over but what the reader is attracted to is that of how he describes the people it will affect and not the affect it will have on the soldier.
The poets personification of ambition is to condemn those in power who send men into war and he does the same with misery which in his view is what war brings.
The glamour in this poem is hard to come by. This is because the poet has tried to only describe what attract the young boys and this is far from any thing to do with the glamour of war.
When the Tawny vapour was to settle over someone or something, this would make the person feel very cold and blind to what is happening around her as through the fog you cannot see. This is exactly what the Wife in London is facing. She is oblivious to what her husband is doing or facing away in South Africa, as she has no way of contacting him.
This poem is set up in one meaning divide into two stages. This poem doesnt show any leak of showing the glamour side of war and concentrates on the side of horror. The first in which the poem is laid out into is the building up to that of the messenger knock knock in a gloomy and dark atmosphere.
Her life has taking on the ambience of the messengers actions. Her life is about to crack under a knock and this exactly how the messenger will knock on the door, with a knock cracking smartly. The assonance in this line is very reflective of what is going to happen with her life. As she is about to find out about her husband who has fallen-in the far South Land
Throughout the entire poems that I have studied, they all have one thing in common but it is hidden beneath the surface of the words and is very important. The Commanding officer doesnt care. In this poem this is shown by the news Flashed, in front of her. To me this means that the messenger has to be fast, as he has other people to see and doesnt really care about her grieving.
Sometimes when writing or speaking it is better to be short and sharp instead of saying it the tedious way. This is how the wife is treated, the letter has most probably been used for all the other soldiers wives and girlfriends and for her the only thing that they changed was that of the name. However, Though shaped so shortly it was inappropriate for this occasion.
The contrast in this poem is between the letters. The one sent by the army means nothing to her and is very unappreciated by her, the other type of letter which she receives is one from her husband before he had sadly died. This letter is the total opposite to the other even down to the person who delivers it, the postman. His letter which was Penned in highest feather could have had two meanings as when things are done to high standards they normally mean that something good or bad is going to happen. What he believes is that of the good side and should be returning home soon and full of love. This makes the reader feel sorrow and he can ponder on the idea of what if he had returned.
The metaphor which is used to show her sadness is linked to the situation which she faced at the beginning of having heavy fog hangs thicker this shows how she is feeling and the depth.