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Poetry Project English 12

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Poetry Project English 12 - Page Text Content

FC: 2014 | W A R

1: Table of Contents | Poetic Devices Cacaphony...........................................................................................................26Assonance...........................................................................................................27Metaphor............................................................................................................28Connotation................................. .......................................................................29 Simile................................................................................................................30Juxtaposition.......................................................................................................31Hyperbole...........................................................................................................32Personification.....................................................................................................33Alliteration.........................................................................................................34Allusion..............................................................................................................35 | Critical Interpretation Here Dead We Lie.................................................................................................38 Naming of Parts....................................................................................................40 After Blenheim.....................................................................................................42 The Little Girl Saw Her First Troop Parade....................................................................44 The Colonel.,.......................................................................................................46 | Personal Response Anthem for Doomed Youth.......................................................................................50 It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers............................................................................52 | Poet Biography's Wilfred Owen.......................................................................................................56 Alfred Edward Housman....................,.....................................................................58 | Table of Contents...................................................................................................1 | Appendix.............................................................................................................25 | Poems Here Dead We Lie...................................................................................................4 Naming of Parts......................................................................................................6 After Blenheim.......................................................................................................8 The Little Girl Saw Her First Troop Parade....................................................................10 The Colonel.........................................................................................................12 It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers............................................................................14 Anthem for Doomed Youth.......................................................................................16 Postcard 1...........................................................................................................18 I am Syrian..........................................................................................................20 Soldier Boy..........................................................................................................22

2: WARNING Contains graphic images

3: POEMS

4: Poems

5: Here dead we lie because we did not choose To live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; But young men think it is, and we were young. -A. E. Housman | Here Dead We Lie | http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20War%20Poetry%20and%20Anti-War%20Poetry.htm

6: poems

7: Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday, We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning, We shall have what to do after firing. But today, Today we have naming of parts. Japonica Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens, And today we have naming of parts. This is the lower sling swivel. And this Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel, Which in your case you have not got. The branches Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures, Which in our case we have not got. This is the safety-catch, which is always released With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easily If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see Any of them using their finger. And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers: They call it easing the Spring. They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt, And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance, Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards, For today we have naming of parts. -Henry Reed | Naming of Parts | http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20War%20Poetry%20and%20Anti-War%20Poetry.htm

8: poems

9: It was a summer evening; Old Kaspar’s work was done, And he before his cottage door Was sitting in the sun; And by him sported on the green His little grandchild Wilhelmine. She saw her brother Peterkin Roll something large and round, Which he beside the rivulet In playing there had found. He came to ask what he had found, That was so large, and smooth, and round. Old Kaspar took it from the boy, Who stood expectant by; And then the old man shook his head, And with a natural sigh, “‘Tis some poor fellow’s skull,” said he, “Who fell in the great victory. “I find them in the garden, For there’s many here about; And often, when I go to plow, The plowshare turns them out; For many thousand men,” said he, “Were slain in that great victory.” “Now tell us what ‘twas all about,” Young Peterkin, he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up With wonder-waiting eyes; “Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for.” | After Blenheim | “It was the English,” Kaspar cried, “Who put the French to rout; But what they fought each other for, I could not well make out; But everybody said,” quoth he, “That ‘twas a famous victory. “My father lived at Blenheim then, Yon little stream hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground, And he was forced to fly; So with his wife and child he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head. “With fire and sword the country round Was wasted far and wide, And many a childing mother then, And new-born baby, died; But things like that, you know, must be At every famous victory. “They say it was a shocking sight After the field was won; For many thousand bodies here Lay rotting in the sun; But things like that, you know, must be After a famous victory. “Great praise the Duke of Marlboro’ won, And our good Prince Eugene.” “Why, ‘twas a very wicked thing!” Said little Wilhelmine. “Nay, nay, my little girl,” quoth he; “It was a famous victory. | “And everybody praised the Duke Who this great fight did win.” “But what good came of it at last?” Quoth little Peterkin. “Why, that I cannot tell,” said he; “But ‘twas a famous victory.” -Robert Southey | The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy

10: poems

11: The little girl saw her first troop parade and asked, "What are those?" "Soldiers." "What are soldiers?" "They are for war. They fight and each tries to kill as many of the other side as he can." The girl held still and studied. "Do you know . . . I know something?" "Yes, what is it you know?" "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come." -Carl Sandburg | The Little Girl Saw Her First Troop Parade | The People, Yes Paperback by Carl Sandburg

12: poems

13: WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck them- selves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground. -Carolyn Forché | The Colonel | The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy

14: poems

15: While I was building neat castles in the sandbox, the hasty pits were filling with bulldozed corpses and as I walked to the school washed and combed, my feet stepping on the cracks in the cement detonated red bombs. Now I am grownup and literate, and I sit in my chair as quietly as a fuse and the jungles are flaming, the under- brush is charged with soldiers, the names on the difficult maps go up in smoke. | It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers | I am the cause, I am a stockpile of chemical toys, my body is a deadly gadget, I reach out in love, my hands are guns, my good intentions are completely lethal. Even my passive eyes transmute everything I look at to the pocked black and white of a war photo, how can I stop myself It is dangerous to read newspapers. Each time I hit a key on my electric typewriter, speaking of peaceful trees another village explodes. -Margaret Atwood (Canadian) | The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy

16: poems

17: What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. -Wilfred Owen | Anthem for Doomed Youth | http://www.poetryfoundation.org/

18: poems

19: Out of Bulgaria, the great wild roar of the artillery thunders, resounds on the mountain ridges, rebounds, then ebbs into silence while here men, beasts, wagons and imagination all steadily increase; the road whinnies and bucks, neighing; the maned sky gallops; and you are eternally with me, love, constant amid all the chaos, glowing within my conscience — incandescent, intense. Somewhere within me, dear, you abide forever — still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death or a beetle hiding in the heart of a rotting tree. -Miklós Radnóti (Hungarian) | Postcard 1 | http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20War%20Poetry%20and%20Anti-War%20Poetry.htm

20: poems

21: "I am Syrian" I am a Syrian. Exiled, in and out of my homeland, and on knife blades with swollen feet I walk. I am a Syrian: Shiite, Druze, Kurd, Christian, and I am Alawite, Sunni, and Circassian. Syria is my land. Syria is my identity. My sect is the scent of my homeland, the soil after the rain, and my Syria is my only religion. I am a son of this land, like the olives apples pomegranates chicory cacti mint grapes figs ... So what use are your thrones, your Arabism, your poems, and your elegies? Will your words bring back my home and those who were killed accidentally? Will they erase tears shed on this soil? I am a son of that green paradise, my hometown, but today, I am dying from hunger and thirst. Barren tents in Lebanon and Amman are now my refuge, but no land except my homeland will nourish me with its grains, nor will all the clouds in this universe quench my thirst.. -Written by Youssef Abu Yihea / Translated by Ghada Alatrash (Syrian) | http://www.pri.org/stories/2013-10-12/take-peek-syria-through-poetry-spurred-its-war

22: poems

23: They lie not in that empty grave Beneath the foreign sod. They do not lie forgotten In that cold, and desolate Land of Nod. Soldier Boy ... Solider Boy, The trumpets blast, and blare; And wreaths are laid at the Cenotaph, To show ... that we still care. But ... there's a greater love than Man's Who knows the price you paid. He spared you the indignity, And lifted you from that cold, cold grave. He created a Great Celestial Shrine, And the moment it was done ... With a gentle hand, placed the Valiant heart, Of each dear Mother's son. Soldier Boy ... Solider Boy, Under Dutch blue skies, The gentle Breeze of Holland ... Kiss your grave ... as they pass by. -Earl Doucette (Canadian) | Soldier Boy | http://www.warpoems.org/poem16.htm

25: Appendix

26: Cacophony Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance, - "Naming of Parts" This is the safety-catch, which is always released, - "Naming of Parts" Which in your case you have not got, - "Naming of Parts" What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" tell your people they can go fuck themselves. - "The Colonel" The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. - "The Colonel" Broken bottles were embedded in the walls, - "The Colonel" stepping on the cracks in the cement, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" or a beetle hiding in the heart of a rotting tree. - "Postcard 1", I believe rotting is cacophony because it felt so out of place after reading about him describing her as an angel. on knife blades with swollen feet I walk. - "I am Syrian" apples pomegranates chicory cacti mint grapes figs... - "I am Syrian"

27: Assonance -But young men think it is, and we were young. - "Here Dead We Lie" Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see - "Naming of Parts" Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see - "Naming of Parts" Is to open the breech, as you see - "Naming of Parts" Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" And he before his cottage door - "After Blenheim" Was sitting in the sun; - "After Blenheim" But everybody said,” quoth he, - "After Blenheim" Now I am grownup, And literate, and I sit in my chair - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" castles in the sandbox, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" while here men, beasts, wagons and imagination all steadily increase; - "Postcard 1" incandescent, intense. - "Postcard 1"

28: Here dead we lie because we did not choose - "Here Dead We Lie" To live and shame the land from which we sprung. - "Here Dead We Lie" Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; - "Here Dead We Lie" And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance, - "Naming of Parts" Can patter out their hasty orisons. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" And bugles calling for them from sad shires. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells, - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" What candles may be held to speed them all? - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; - "Anthem for Doomed Youth"

29: Metaphor -To live and shame the land from which we sprung. - "Here Dead We Lie" metaphor for birth And rapidly backwards and forwards The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers: - "Naming of Parts" Metaphor for masturbating... Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Metaphor for tears. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" comparing the pale lifeless faces of girls to coffin shrouds I am a stockpile of chemical toys - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" my body is a deadly gadget, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" my hands are guns, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" Out of Bulgaria, the great wild roar of the artillery thunders, - "Postcard 1", Comparing the sound of artillery fire to thunder and roars of animals. Somewhere within me, dear, you abide forever — still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death or a beetle hiding in the heart of a rotting tree. - "Postcard 1"

30: Comparing the women to and angel or a beetle. And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" comparing dusk to blinds The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" comparing chairs to the sounds of artillery shells Connotation But young men think it is, and we were young. - "Here Dead We Lie" Young implies that the men were still childish and ignorant of the world What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Cattle implies slaughter and meaningless death. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells, - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Prayers and bells imply peace and religion. Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Good-byes implies sadness and death. And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Dusk implies an end. Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Flowers imply peace, love, and innocence

31: And bugles calling for them from sad shires. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" bugles imply a call to arms/battle. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid. - "The Colonel" A gold bell and maid imply wealth and power. the names on the difficult maps go up in smoke. - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" Smoke is implying the countries are destroyed or disappear. I am a son of this land, like the olives - "I am Syrian" land implies nation and country, patriotism Will your words bring back my home - "I am Syrian" Home sginifies a happy familiar, place, family and belonging. Simile Japonica, Glistens like coral. - "Naming of Parts" What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. - "The Colonel" I sit in my chair as quietly as a fuse, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" Somewhere within me, dear, you abide forever — still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death - "Postcard 1"

32: Juxtaposition When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel, Which in your case you have not got. The branches Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures, Which in our case we have not got. - "Naming of Parts" juxtaposition of the garden with gun parts. no prayers nor bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" contrasting prayers and bells with artillery shells There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. - "The Colonel", normal, everyday scenes juxtaposed with the pistol I reach out in love, my hands are guns, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" love juxtaposed with guns and violence my good intentions are completely lethal. - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers"

33: While I was building neat castles in the sandbox, the hasty pits were filling with bulldozed corpses - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" An innocent child building sandcastles juxtaposed with dead corpses Each time I hit a key on my electric typewriter, speaking of peaceful trees another village explodes. - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" peaceful trees vs exploding villages still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death or a beetle hiding in the heart of a rotting tree. - "Postcard 1" Angel being compared to a beetle in a rotting tree I am a son of that green paradise, my hometown, but today, I am dying from hunger and thirst. - "I am Syrian" A green paradise contrasted by hunger and thirst Simile Japonica, Glistens like coral. - "Naming of Parts" What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. - "The Colonel" I sit in my chair as quietly as a fuse, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" Somewhere within me, dear, you abide forever — still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death - "Postcard 1"

34: Personification The branches, Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures, - "Naming of Parts", Branches can't make eloquent gestures Only the monstrous anger of the guns. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Angry guns The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Treating the sound of artillery shells as choirs and screaming humans He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. - "The Colonel", An ear comes to life in water Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground. - "The Colonel" Cut off ears are personified to still hear. the road whinnies and bucks, neighing; - "Postcard 1" the maned sky gallops; - "Postcard 1" I am a son of this land, like the olives - "I am Syrian" Personifying the land as a parent. -To live and shame the land from which we sprung. - "Here Dead We Lie" The land cannot feel shame.

35: Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Rifles don't stutter but they make stuttering sounds Hyperbole -To live and shame the land from which we sprung. - "Here Dead We Lie" You don't actually come out of the land And he was forced to fly - "After Blenheim" he doesn't actually fly, just escapes quickly Each time I hit a key on my electric typewriter, speaking of peaceful trees another village explodes. - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" exaggerating how often a village explodes nor will all the clouds in this universe quench my thirst.. - "I am Syrian" He can't be THAT thirsty. There is no other way to say this. - "The Colonel", This is a hyperbole because the writer exaggerates that she cannot think of any other way to say it at the moment

36: Alliteration Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" And bugles calling for them from sad shires. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. - "Anthem for Doomed Youth" “They say it was a shocking sight - "After Blenheim" stepping on the cracks in the cement, - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" still, motionless, mute, like an angel stunned to silence by death - "Postcard 1" Will your words bring back my home - "I am Syrian" Who knows the price you paid. - "Soldier Boy" To live and shame the land from which we sprung. - "Here Dead We Lie" But young men think it is, and we were young. - "Here Dead We Lie"

37: Allusion “Who fell in the great victory. - "After Blenheim" Alluding to the Battle of Blenheim, a famous battle that occured during the Spanish War of Succession. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck themselves. - "The Colonel" The rights of anyone is a reference to the El Salvador civil war from 1919 - 1992, and the colonel is probably an allusion to Roberto D'Aubuisson. and the jungles are flaming - "It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers" Allusion to the Vietnam War. Great Celestial Shrine, - "Soldier Boy" Allusion for heaven. But ... there's a greater love than Man's - "Soldier Boy" Alluding to god.

39: Critical Interpretation

40: Interpret | Here Dead We Lie Here dead we lie because we did not choose To live and shame the land from which we sprung. Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose; But young men think it is, and we were young. -A. E. Housman | http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20War%20Poetry%20and%20Anti-War%20Poetry.htm

41: Is it truly honorable to die for one's country? During World War One, thousands of youths were killed, many of them dying pointless deaths caused by the incompetency of their leaders. In “Here Dead We Lie” by A. E. Housman the reader is presented with a few of these young soldiers who gave up their lives fighting for their country, refusing “ To live and shame the land from which we sprung”. Their leaders and superiors preached about how dying for ones country was honorable and treated their lives as cheap things. So even though they faced certain death, they refused to run away and be deemed cowards, instead they died and, “ did not choose, To live and shame the land from which we sprung”. The second stanza however, states that although their superiors believe “Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose” and that there is no shame in dying on the battlefield, in the end, the young soldiers knew that life was indeed precious. This is shown in, “But young men think it is,” which gives their death more meaning because even though they had full knowledge of the importance of life they still gave it up with eyes wide open. In the end, life is too precious to be thrown away and there is no glory in death.

42: Interpret | Naming of Parts Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday, We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning, We shall have what to do after firing. But today, Today we have naming of parts. Japonica Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens, And today we have naming of parts. This is the lower sling swivel. And this Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel, Which in your case you have not got. The branches Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures, Which in our case we have not got. This is the safety-catch, which is always released With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easily If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see Any of them using their finger. And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers: They call it easing the Spring. | They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt, And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance, Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards, For today we have naming of parts. -Henry Reed | http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20War%20Poetry%20and%20Anti-War%20Poetry.htm

43: The use of juxtaposition by an author can greatly strengthen and improve a poem's meaning. In Henry Reed's “Naming of Parts” Reed depicts a contrast between the world of war and nature. The reader is first introduced to a military instructor teaching a class of new recruits the different parts of a gun, but one bored recruit gets distracted by the scenes of nature elsewhere, presumably outside a window. His halfhearted listening results in juxtaposition between scenes such as “Japonica Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens...The branches, Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures...The blossoms Are fragile and motionless...The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers...and the almond-blossom, Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,” with scenes of war like, “This is the lower sling swivel. And this Is the upper sling swivel... This is the safety-catch...And this you can see is the bolt...They call it easing the Spring...like the bolt, And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance.” The comparisons between these two unlike things creates an uneasy feeling that something is amiss and emphasizes how unnatural and wrong war is. In using juxtaposition to compare and contrast two different things like war and nature, Reed creates a bigger impact which helps him deliver his messages more effectively.

44: Interpret | After Blenheim It was a summer evening; Old Kaspar’s work was done, And he before his cottage door Was sitting in the sun; And by him sported on the green His little grandchild Wilhelmine. She saw her brother Peterkin Roll something large and round, Which he beside the rivulet In playing there had found. He came to ask what he had found, That was so large, and smooth, and round. Old Kaspar took it from the boy, Who stood expectant by; And then the old man shook his head, And with a natural sigh, “‘Tis some poor fellow’s skull,” said he, “Who fell in the great victory. “I find them in the garden, For there’s many here about; And often, when I go to plow, The plowshare turns them out; For many thousand men,” said he, “Were slain in that great victory.” | “Now tell us what ‘twas all about,” Young Peterkin, he cries; And little Wilhelmine looks up With wonder-waiting eyes; “Now tell us all about the war, And what they fought each other for.” “It was the English,” Kaspar cried, “Who put the French to rout; But what they fought each other for, I could not well make out; But everybody said,” quoth he, “That ‘twas a famous victory. “My father lived at Blenheim then, Yon little stream hard by; They burnt his dwelling to the ground, And he was forced to fly; So with his wife and child he fled, Nor had he where to rest his head. “With fire and sword the country round Was wasted far and wide, And many a childing mother then, And new-born baby, died; But things like that, you know, must be At every famous victory. | The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy | “They say it was a shocking sight After the field was won; For many thousand bodies here Lay rotting in the sun; But things like that, you know, must be After a famous victory. “Great praise the Duke of Marlboro’ won, And our good Prince Eugene.” “Why, ‘twas a very wicked thing!” Said little Wilhelmine. “Nay, nay, my little girl,” quoth he; “It was a famous victory. “And everybody praised the Duke Who this great fight did win.” “But what good came of it at last?” Quoth little Peterkin. “Why, that I cannot tell,” said he; “But ‘twas a famous victory.” -Robert Southey

45: Is there any point in war? In 1701, a war broke out between Austria and France over who had the right to succeed the previous king of Spain. This war has since been named the War of the Spanish Succession. In this war, Kings and nobles fought for more power and glory at the expense of countless deaths and in 1704 a decisive battle was fought between the French and the English/Austrians near the village of Blenheim. In this battle the English defeated the French and the Battle of Blenheim went down in history as one of the greatest victories of the war. In the poem “After Blenheim”, the reader gets to see the aftermath of the battle from a simple peasant's point of view. The reader is introduced to an old farmer named Kasper and his grandchildren. His grandson finds a large, round object and asks his grandfather what it was. Kasper wryly replies, “Tis some poor fellow's skull.” He then goes on to tell a story of a battle that took place in his father's time where thousands “were slain” and “great victory was achieved. Ecstatic, the children then asked “Now tell us about the war, And what they fought each other for.” Kasper then tells them that it was the English “Who put the French to rout,” but gets confused, as he can't remember what they fought each other for. He then shrugs it off quoting “But everybody said, twas a famous victory.” Shockingly, even though thousands of countrymen and possibly family members, died in the battle, the peasants and common folk do not even know what they fought for, just accepting it as a famous victory. Evidently, the war was pointless to the peasants, but although it should not have concerned the peasants in the first place, it still affected them greatly, causing much death and destruction like, “ With fire and sword the country round, Was wasted far and wide,” and “Many a childing mother then, And new-born baby died.” The innocent children notice how horrible this “great victory” actually was, replying, “Why, 'twas a very wicked thing!” and asking, “But what good came of it at last?” Kasper's reply of, “Why that I cannot tell, said he, “But, 'twas a famous victory.” shows that there was no meaning, war solves nothing, and nothing good came out of it. Only the kings and nobles get to bathe in their fame and glory while stepping over the dead corpses of the innocent. Ultimately, war holds no meaning to the peasants and soldiers who actually fought and died in the war, so if the kings and nobles want their fame and glory, they should fight it themselves without bringing the innocent into their pointless conflicts. In the end, a great victory in a pointless war is a no victory at all.

46: Interpret | The Little Girl Saw Her First Troop Parade The little girl saw her first troop parade and asked, "What are those?" "Soldiers." "What are soldiers?" "They are for war. They fight and each tries to kill as many of the other side as he can." The girl held still and studied. "Do you know . . . I know something?" "Yes, what is it you know?" "Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come." -Carl Sandburg | The People, Yes Paperback by Carl Sandburg

47: What is the future of a world where war and conflict are an everyday occurrence? What will happen if the fighting never stops? In “The Little Girl Saw Her First Troop Parade” by Carl Sandburg, a little girl learns about soldiers for the first time. She learns from the older man that soldiers are for war, “They fight and each tries to kill as many of the other side as he can.” A very blunt and harsh explanation. The little girl then makes an insight into what most people don't think about, “Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come.” If we keep fighting, eventually a time will come when no humans will be left. The irony is that a little girl can understand such a simple truth, but world leaders and politicians cannot. In the end, a future of a world where war and conflict won't end, is no future at all.

48: Interpret | The Colonel WHAT YOU HAVE HEARD is true. I was in his house. His wife carried a tray of coffee and sugar. His daughter filed her nails, his son went out for the night. There were daily papers, pet dogs, a pistol on the cushion beside him. The moon swung bare on its black cord over the house. On the television was a cop show. It was in English. Broken bottles were embedded in the walls around the house to scoop the kneecaps from a man's legs or cut his hands to lace. On the windows there were gratings like those in liquor stores. We had dinner, rack of lamb, good wine, a gold bell was on the table for calling the maid. The maid brought green mangoes, salt, a type of bread. I was asked how I enjoyed the country. There was a brief commercial in Spanish. His wife took everything away. There was some talk then of how difficult it had become to govern. The parrot said hello on the terrace. The colonel told it to shut up, and pushed himself from the table. My friend said to me with his eyes: say nothing. The colonel returned with a sack used to bring groceries home. He spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there. I am tired of fooling around he said. As for the rights of anyone, tell your people they can go fuck them- selves. He swept the ears to the floor with his arm and held the last of his wine in the air. Something for your poetry, no? he said. Some of the ears on the floor caught this scrap of his voice. Some of the ears on the floor were pressed to the ground. -Carolyn Forché | The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy

49: In “The Colonel”, Carolyn Forché shows that in some cases using literal language instead of figurative language can strengthen the poem's message and impact immensely. “The Colonel” is a free verse prose poem that is written with almost no figurative language. The poem is instead written in simple sentences, that start off boring and mundane. The tone of the speaker is very dull and she speaks very matter-of-factly, embellishing nothing. Using sentences like, “It was in English...”We had dinner...The parrot said hello...There was a brief commercial in Spanish.” This serves as to lower the readers guard and lull them into a sense of false security. Even early in the poem the reader can already see inconsistencies pop up, with statements like “a pistol...Broken bottles were embedded in the walls...cut his hands to lace” inserted in between the normal descriptions. Then when the reader is absently glancing over the lines, they are unprepared for the out of place “shut up” by the colonel and when the colonel comes back with the grocery bag, the unprepared reader is immediately shocked out of their stupor, horrified and revolted by the resulting scene. Suddenly the matter of fact tone and simple explanations become sinister, as they nonchalantly describe the horrible events that transpire, emphasizing the perverse brutality of the scene as the reader is thrust with images of “he spilled many human ears on the table. They were like dried peach halves. There is no other way to say this. He took one of them in his hands, shook it in our faces, dropped it into a water glass. It came alive there.” This statement proves to be powerful enough on it's own that figurative language would have just exaggerated and complicated it when cold, hard, mechanical descriptions are all that is needed to bring the point across. If Forché instead used figurative and fancy language to enrich the poem and make it sound more eloquent then poem would have lost its cold, hard, realism and the impact would have been greatly diminished when the brutal climax arrived.

51: Personal Response

52: Anthem for Doomed Youth What passing-bells for these who die as cattle? Only the monstrous anger of the guns. Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle Can patter out their hasty orisons. No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells, Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,— The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells; And bugles calling for them from sad shires. What candles may be held to speed them all? Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes Shall shine the holy glimmers of good-byes. The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall; Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds, And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds. -Wilfred Owen | http://www.thehypertexts.com/Best%20War%20Poetry%20and%20Anti-War%20Poetry.htm

53: Response | “Anthem for Doomed Youth” is an extremely powerful poem that immediately draws you in from the start. I like how it does not glorify a soldiers life and shows how brutal and horrifying it actually is. The sound imagery was amazing and I could almost hear the sounds of rifles and artillery shells. The poem shows how terrible the life of a soldier was in World War I and I wonder how anyone would have wanted to ever become a soldier at that time. The contrast between the religious prayers and choirs with rifle's firing and the whistles of artillery is jarring. You can feel the suffering and hopelessness, and see the crying faces of family members and loved ones who could not even see them one last time. It felt like the poem was yelling at me, “ These men did not die honorable deaths, they were cut to pieces, mowed down like cattle, and left to rot in the mud, it was not easy, it was not good, so don't try to say otherwise!”

54: It is Dangerous to Read Newspapers While I was building neat castles in the sandbox, the hasty pits were filling with bulldozed corpses and as I walked to the school washed and combed, my feet stepping on the cracks in the cement detonated red bombs. Now I am grownup and literate, and I sit in my chair as quietly as a fuse and the jungles are flaming, the under- brush is charged with soldiers, the names on the difficult maps go up in smoke. -Margaret Atwood | The Oxford Book of War Poetry by Jon Stallworthy | I am the cause, I am a stockpile of chemical toys, my body is a deadly gadget, I reach out in love, my hands are guns, my good intentions are completely lethal. Even my passive eyes transmute everything I look at to the pocked black and white of a war photo, how can I stop myself It is dangerous to read newspapers. Each time I hit a key on my electric typewriter, speaking of peaceful trees another village explodes.

55: Response | Most of the time when I see things in the news, all the war and suffering, I would look at it and think “wow, that's horrible” and change the channel. I would live my life ignoring the things that happen on the other side of the world thinking it doesn't concern me. But sometimes I do pay attention and feel extremely guilty for living such a privileged life and complaining about silly things like going to school, when millions of people are starving and dying all over the world, but in the end I don't do anything and sometimes I hate myself for it. Anyways, that is why I really like this poem as it also speaks of the feeling of obligation and responsibility to do something when you see all the atrocities and human suffering on the news and believe that you are part of the problem that is causing all this suffering.

57: Biographies

58: Wilfred Owen | Wilfred Owen was an English soldier and poet, considered one of the greatest war poets of all time, he wrote shocking and powerful poems on the horrors of World War I. Born in Oswestry, Shropshire, England in 1893, Owen went to school at Birkenhead Institute and Shrewsbury College. When he turned 18 he tried to win a scholarship to London University but failed, so instead he decided to try out a religious career. As an apprentice clergyman Owen learned of the irresponsibility of the Church of England in neglecting to take care of the poor and sick. At this time he began to develop an interest in poetry and spent most of his free time writing. Over the next couple of years, he taught languages and learned French while tutoring two boys in France. In October 1915 nearly, a year after the war started, Owen decided to enlist in the army and one 29 December 1916, he was sent to the front lines. During his year as a soldier, he experienced the horrors and reality of war and regularly sent letters to hos mother describing the dangers he was experiencing. In the summer of 1917, Owen was sent to a hospital in Edinburgh diagnosed with shell shock and met two friends and influences in Dr. Brock and Siegfried Sassoon. It is then in this year and one month from August 1917 to September 1918 when he wrote all of his poetry. After he became friends with Siegfried Sassoon and joined forces in protesting the war, he returned to the front lines in 1918 where he won the Military Cross for bravery. He died on the Sombre Canal, a week before the war ended. Among his most famous works are "Dulce et Decorum Est", "1914", "Anthem for Doomed Youth", "Exposure" and "Futility." A master poet of grim realism, he accomplished so much in so little time and deserves to go down in history as one of the greatest war poets of all time.

59: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity." -Wilfred Owen

60: A.E. Housman | Alfred Edward Housman was a classical scholar and poet, considered by many as one of the greatest scholars of all time. He was also anti-social and kept to himself most of the time. He was born in Worcestershire, England as the oldest of seven children. Housman went to high school at King Edward's School where he did well academically and won many awards for poetry. In 1877, he attended St.John's College on a scholarship and studied classics. During his time at Oxford, he fell in love with his roommate Moses Jackson, but was rejected because he was straight. In the end, he failed his final exam because of neglecting ancient history which was an important part of the curriculum and was humiliated. Fortunately, he passed his final year and took up a job as a clerk in the Patent Office in London. While working he published many scholarly articles on Greek and Roman classics and became so well renowned that he was offered a job to be professor of Latin at University College. In 1911, he took up a position as professor of Latin at Trinity College, a position he would hold for the remainder of his life. He died in 1936 in Cambridge. Even though Housman considered his poetry second to his classical studies, Housman's most famous work was A Shropshire Lad, a cycle of 63 poems, featuring young English soldiers and unrequited love. Other works include his analysis of Juvenal, Lucan, and Manilius, a roman poet and astrologer and Last Poems, the final volume of poems Housman published, dedicated to his friend Moses Jackson.

61: “Give me a land of boughs in leaf A land of trees that stand; Where trees are fallen there is grief; I love no leafless land.” -A.E. Housman

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  • Title: Poetry Project English 12
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