“Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,”
The author starts with simile after simile before he acquaints us to the subjects of the poem. I found this interesting, it took me a few times of reading this through, however I believe that he does this to show what war does to men. I have never been in the military and am giving my opinion from one on the outside looking in. I believe that it is very hard for me to relate to war and understand what it is truly like on the battlefield. As the author began with these similes I was able to gain a mental image. After I had this image I was then introduced to my subject. I believe that helped me to get a better understanding of how physically waring war can be on a man’s body. If I know that it is a soldier ahead of time I tend to place more of a heroic or invincible type figure in my mind. It seems the battle is coming to an end the men head towards their “distant rest” I thought this to be inronic. I am sure that it refers to returning to camp or barracks. I would also suppose that many faced the wages of war. Later in the poem we know he has to watch a comrade go through this experience. I believe it could also reference death that must have seemed very close at times to them. I noticed that all through the poem you feel the struggles and pain from his metaphoric language. It seems exhaustive as you read I really felt the imagery of these broken men giving the last of what they had and a little more. I know that much of WWI was fought in the trenches in this poem you get a taste of what the trenches were like.
I grew up playing football and I played on the offensive line. In football they make the comparison of the line of scrimmage being the trench. After reading this poem it is obvious that they use that term loosely. I was never in a game that compared, even a little, to what the trenches were like for our author. I understand why soldiers and...
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