Analysis of War Poems - "The Soldier" by Brooke and "Beach Burial" by Slessor

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Poetry is a form of art where one’s imagination or experiences are expressed through words, sound or rhythmic language choices to evoke an emotional response from their readers. Poetry was extremely popular during wartimes as people got to express how they felt about war through words. ‘The soldier’ by Rupert Brooke and ‘Beach Burial’ by Kenneth Slessor are both poem written during wartime and both contain contrasting ideas about war. These two poems are particularly useful to study as they show us how the attitude towards war has changes for individuals through a wide range of vivid poetry techniques. “The Soldier” by Brooke is written in 1914, before he actually participated in war, where he presents war as an event of potential glory. Brooke’s limited war experiences allowed him to compose an image of what he imagines war to be like. As he did not know about the horrors of war, his view of war is innocent and naïve. He believes that the death of a soldier – if it happens – will be a sweet and honourable death, one to be admired and hoped for. This view is demonstrated vividly throughout the poem in several ways. One of the ways Brooke shows the idea that war is glorious is through his strong sense of patriotism. He constantly uses words such as “England” and “English” which suggests that he respected his mother country dearly. Through the use of repetition, the repeated soft sound of ‘f’ - from words such as ‘foreign’, ‘field’ and ‘forever’, helps to create a gentle and soft tone. This tone helps the soldier to reassure his loved ones that participating in the war is a duty he must take, and that they should not worry too much about him. “In that rich earth a richer dust concealed.” This metaphor indicates that if the soldier is to die on a land other than England, then the ground that he dies on would be made better and there is now a piece of England in it. The repetition of the word ‘rich’ supports this concept as the soldier is constantly thinking of...
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