A poem can be defined in several ways. For example, we can define it as a piece of writing in verse form, which conveys strong feelings about a given subject. Poets always write poems for several reasons. For instance, one can write a poem to show his attitude or opinion about something or a pertinent issue that took place or is currently taking place in his or her contemporary society. Others may also write poems only for entertaining people. This leads to the classification of poems into different categories. This paper will discuss the different attitudes adopted in four verses that talk about the war.
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Tennyson read something about the “Battle of Balaclava” from a newspaper article, after which he wrote a poem called “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” He wrote it using a few phrases that he adopted from the article he had read. This poem is describing the events of the Crimean war. This war took place from 1853 to 1856. During this war, Britain and its allies fought against the Russians. And much of the conflict took place in the Crimean Peninsula.
The Battle of Balaclava was one of the popular events during the war (Probst 23). The poet presents a glorifying perspective of the war by using an exciting beat and narration about noble heroism. However, this poem has some contradictions. This is because it conveys a sense of glory and honor, and at the same time, it talks about war and defeat. This limits its effectiveness in conveying the message.
Ralph Emerson is famous for writing several scholarly works that were popularly read in the 19th century. Among his works was a poem called “Concord Hymn.” It is a poem recited in Concord in 1837 to commemorate the role of the people who lived in Concord in the “Battle of Concord Lexington.” This poem refers to the continuous struggle that North American colonies underwent to be emancipated from British domination.
The poet had recognized the incredible determination of the Americans when they fought against the British. During the ceremony, the guests had mixed reactions. For example, some had sad memories of the war experiences, while others felt happy for winning the war. The poet has presented a mixture of somber and joyous mood in the poem to reflect on these feelings (Emmerson 12). The theme of the poem was developed correctly using various poetic devices.
Thomas Hardy wrote a poem titled “The Man He Killed,” which narrates the meaningless nature of war. The first verse suggests that the two soldiers hated each because of war, and had they met elsewhere, they could have been good friends. The use of repetition in the poem is meant to justify the soldier who killed his colleague because they were enemies. In this poem, the narrator is trying to say that the action he took was unavoidable (Hardy 58). The theme of the poem reveals the strange nature of war in which people are compelled to kill each other for no good reasons. The language that was used in this poem is simple and easy to understand. From the verse, we learn that war leads to hatred.
Wilfred Owen served as a captain in the British military. He was disturbed by the war events that he always experienced while he served in the military. He seriously disliked the idea of the government taking young boys to go and fight. In this context, he chose to express his negative feelings about war by writing a poem called “Dulce ET Decorum Est.” He had the feeling that war is so terrible and against humanity (Kerr 10). According to him, war leads to the senseless death of young people.
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Although people have the freedom to express their feelings about a given subject, as depicted in the above analysis, I concur with Wilfred’s attitude towards war. This is because of the following reasons. In his poem “Dulce ET Decorum Est,” he managed to give a clear picture of the war experiences and its effects, which the other poets did not do, but they glorified war. He also has used many strong poetic devices to illustrate the theme of the poem (Kerr 12). For example, alliteration has been used to make the poem easy to recite and memorize. The language of poetry is also very effective and easy to understand. Therefore, I conclude that war is not a remedy to any crisis and that people should always avoid it by all means possible.
Emmerson, Ralph. The concord hymn and other poems. New York: Dover Publishers, 1996. Print.
Hardy, Thomas. Penguin classics. New York: Penguin Books, 1998. Print.
Kerr, Wilfred. The works of Wilfred Owen. Hertfordshire: Words Worth, 1999. Print.
Probst, Robert. Response and analysis: teaching literature in secondary school. New York: Heinemann, 2004. Print.